Involving Communities in Community Assessment

Authors

  • Mary Jo Clark Ph.D., R.N.,

    1. Mary Jo Clark is Interim Dean and Professor, Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, University of San Diego, San Diego, California. Susan Cary is Director, Nature Conservancy. Grover Diemert is Executive Director, Bayside Community Center, San Diego, California. Rose Ceballos, Maria Sifuentes, Irene Atteberry, Sandy Trieu, and Fu Vue are Community Residents.
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  • Susan Cary M.A.,

    1. Mary Jo Clark is Interim Dean and Professor, Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, University of San Diego, San Diego, California. Susan Cary is Director, Nature Conservancy. Grover Diemert is Executive Director, Bayside Community Center, San Diego, California. Rose Ceballos, Maria Sifuentes, Irene Atteberry, Sandy Trieu, and Fu Vue are Community Residents.
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  • Grover Diemert M.S.,

    1. Mary Jo Clark is Interim Dean and Professor, Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, University of San Diego, San Diego, California. Susan Cary is Director, Nature Conservancy. Grover Diemert is Executive Director, Bayside Community Center, San Diego, California. Rose Ceballos, Maria Sifuentes, Irene Atteberry, Sandy Trieu, and Fu Vue are Community Residents.
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  • Rose Ceballos,

    1. Mary Jo Clark is Interim Dean and Professor, Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, University of San Diego, San Diego, California. Susan Cary is Director, Nature Conservancy. Grover Diemert is Executive Director, Bayside Community Center, San Diego, California. Rose Ceballos, Maria Sifuentes, Irene Atteberry, Sandy Trieu, and Fu Vue are Community Residents.
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  • Maria Sifuentes,

    1. Mary Jo Clark is Interim Dean and Professor, Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, University of San Diego, San Diego, California. Susan Cary is Director, Nature Conservancy. Grover Diemert is Executive Director, Bayside Community Center, San Diego, California. Rose Ceballos, Maria Sifuentes, Irene Atteberry, Sandy Trieu, and Fu Vue are Community Residents.
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  • Irene Atteberry,

    1. Mary Jo Clark is Interim Dean and Professor, Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, University of San Diego, San Diego, California. Susan Cary is Director, Nature Conservancy. Grover Diemert is Executive Director, Bayside Community Center, San Diego, California. Rose Ceballos, Maria Sifuentes, Irene Atteberry, Sandy Trieu, and Fu Vue are Community Residents.
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  • Fu Vue,

    1. Mary Jo Clark is Interim Dean and Professor, Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, University of San Diego, San Diego, California. Susan Cary is Director, Nature Conservancy. Grover Diemert is Executive Director, Bayside Community Center, San Diego, California. Rose Ceballos, Maria Sifuentes, Irene Atteberry, Sandy Trieu, and Fu Vue are Community Residents.
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  • Sandy Trieu

    1. Mary Jo Clark is Interim Dean and Professor, Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, University of San Diego, San Diego, California. Susan Cary is Director, Nature Conservancy. Grover Diemert is Executive Director, Bayside Community Center, San Diego, California. Rose Ceballos, Maria Sifuentes, Irene Atteberry, Sandy Trieu, and Fu Vue are Community Residents.
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Mary Jo Clark, Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, University of San Diego, 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, CA 92110. E-mail: clark@sandiego.edu

Abstract

Abstract  Focus groups provide an effective means of incorporating the perspectives of “hidden” populations in assessments of community health needs and assets. A series of focus groups was conducted with specifically targeted segments of a community to develop a comprehensive picture of community health. The authors describe the focus group process, major findings, and the use of focus group results in a highly multicultural community. Despite differences in age, length of residence, and ethnicity, the focus groups were remarkably similar in the issues raised. The majority of participants viewed the multicultural nature of the community as an asset but voiced some of the difficulties of living in a multiethnic and multilanguage environment. Similar areas of concern in the community arose from all of the focus groups, including housing and other environmental issues and problems of access to health care. Focus group findings have been used to initiate activity addressing identified community problems. Focus group participation had the added benefit of increasing community members' participation in other community endeavors.

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