Urban Indian Voices: A Community-Based Participatory Research Health and Needs Assessment

Authors: Johnson, CV, Bartgis, J, Worley, JA, Hellman, CM, Burkhart, R
Publication Year: 2010
Last Updated: 2010-08-25 13:29:14
Journal: American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research
Keywords: Participatory Research; Needs Assessment; American Indians; Health Needs; Program Development; Urban American Indians; Urban Areas; Surveys; Attitude Measures; Community Resources; Financial Support; Models; Delivery Systems; Disadvantaged; Access to Health Care; Cultural Relevance; Family Structure; Tribes; Family Income; Transportation; Telecommunications; Religion; Volunteers; Wellness; Physical Health; Mental Health; Youth Programs; Cultural Influences; At Risk Persons; Neighborhoods; Life Satisfaction; Diseases; Substance Abuse; Pregnancy; Unemployment; Safety

Short Abstract:

This community-based participatory research (CBPR) project utilized a mixed-methods survey design to identify urban (Tulsa, OK) American Indian (AI) strengths and needs. Six hundred fifty AI's (550 adults and 100 youth) were surveyed regarding their attitudes and beliefs about their community. These results were used in conjunction with other community research efforts to inform program development, support proposals for external funding, and develop a comprehensive service system model to be implemented in the community.


As a result of social inequalities, high poverty and unemployment rates, disparities in healthcare access and utilization, and cultural/historical trauma, urban American Indians (AIs), who make up 45% to 67% of the total AI population (Grant & Brown, 2003; Urban Indian Health Institute, 2007), face a host of physical and mental health concerns (Urban Indian Health Institute, 2004). More AIs experience serious mental illness, commit suicide, and report mental distress than do members of any other racial group, and they do so at twice the rate of the general population (Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, 2004; Grant & Brown). A multitude of challenges threaten AI youth in particular. According to the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, Native youth are 60% more likely than their non-Native peers to get into fi ghts at school. They also are more likely to drink heavily, abuse drugs, and attempt suicide. They have disproportionate arrest rates, as well as a teen birth rate 50% higher than that of non-Native youth (Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development).


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