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Community-Based Outreach and Recruitment of African American Elders for Health Research and Health Improvement Programming: A Systems Theory Perspective

Sarles, Charlotte Elizabeth (2010) Community-Based Outreach and Recruitment of African American Elders for Health Research and Health Improvement Programming: A Systems Theory Perspective. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This thesis provides a systems theory perspective regarding outreach and recruitment efforts targeting African American elders for health research and programming. A literature review describes the barriers and facilitators of participation on multiple system levels that have been described in existing research. Five models of recruitment are presented. The literature review also provides a listing of existing systems theories and a description of one systems theory in particular—complex adaptive systems—while adding some additional elements from system dynamics.An IRB approved exempt status review of existing community meeting minutes is also described. The meetings took place during my master's practicum at Hosanna House, Inc., a community center in Wilkinsburg Borough, Pennsylvania. The meetings revolved around programming for seniors in Wilkinsburg, a neighborhood that is predominantly African American. Research participation and communication and outreach approaches were also discussed with community members at these meetings. The discussions confirm, in a real world setting, some of the barriers and facilitators found in the literature.The literature review and the review of the meeting minutes provide the basis for recommendations for a systems theory approach to community-based outreach recruitment in a setting such as Wilkinsburg. Taking such an approach may allow public health practitioners and researchers to be more effective at encouraging participation in health research and health improvement programming. This is of great public health significance as African Americans and the elderly continue to experience significant health disparities. Encouraging participation can improve the health status of this underserved population and hopefully serve to eliminate health disparities. This is an ethical necessity in the field of public health.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Sarles, Charlotte
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTerry, Martha Annmaterry@pitt.eduMATERRY
Committee MemberKeane, Chriscrkcity@pitt.eduCRKCITY
Committee MemberBayles, Constance Molscbayles@pitt.eduCBAYLES
Committee MemberAlbert, Stevensmalbert@pitt.eduSMALBERT
Date: 28 June 2010
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 7 June 2007
Approval Date: 28 June 2010
Submission Date: 21 April 2010
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: African American; elderly; outreach; recruitment; systems theory
Other ID:, etd-04212010-193326
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:40
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:41


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