Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details

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Invited Tutorial #504A
Engaging Community and Health Partners in Large-Scale Behavior Change Interventions for Increased Reach, Influence and Impact to Reduce Spread of COVID-19
Monday, May 27, 2024
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Convention Center, 300 Level, Ballroom B
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
BACB/QABA/NASP CE Offered. CE Instructor: Jannette Berkley-Patton, Ph.D.
Chair: Thomas J. Waltz (Eastern Michigan University)
Presenting Authors: : JANNETTE BERKLEY-PATTON (Community Health Research Group and UMKC Health Equity Institute)

Wide-reaching health promotion interventions are needed in influential, trusted community settings to address the disproportionate burden of disease in communities of color. Leading health institutions, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), have recognized the importance of community engagement in designing, delivering, and evaluating large-scale health promotion interventions that can widely reach populations heavily burdened by debilitating health conditions, such as COVID-19. Also recognized is the importance of cultural tailoring to increase acceptability and “fit” with community norms, values, traditions, and infrastructure. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) provides an approach to enhance collaborative community-health-academic research partnerships that can influence uptake of new behaviors at the community level, particularly when community-led strategies are used. Here, the utility of CBPR to design, rapidly implement, and assess the impact of a large-scale, religiously tailored COVID-19 prevention intervention (A Faithful Response to COVID-19) on the uptake of COVID-19 testing in African American churches is described. This NIH-funded, clinical trial with 16 churches (N=981 church-affiliated participants) engaged African American faith and health agency partners in all phases of the research study – while taking place during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Outcome findings indicated the religiously tailored intervention had a significant impact on the number of COVID-19 tests completed. The successful intervention model was then used to rapidly develop and launch a citywide COVID-19 vaccination and health services initiative. Recommendations in designing and testing large-scale behavior change interventions with community and health partners to address health disparities, including those heightened by COVID-19, are also discussed.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Persons from multiple fields (e.g., psychology, health science researchers, healthcare, communications, and community and government organizations) who are interested in large-scale health promotion strategies and community engagement as a process to enhance health intervention feasibility, acceptability and impact, particularly with underserved populations.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) State key principles of community-based participatory research and how these principles can be applied in research collaborations with community and health partners; (2) Describe strategies for engaging community and health partners in designing interventions with multilevel routes of delivery to increase participants’ exposure to intervention components; (3) Describe assessment of intervention behavioral outcomes through varied data collection modalities based on the community setting; (4) List ways to feedback intervention study findings with community partners and the broader community for ongoing engagement.
JANNETTE BERKLEY-PATTON (Community Health Research Group and UMKC Health Equity Institute)
Dr. Berkley-Patton is a professor in the UMKC School of Medicine’s Department of Biomedical and Health informatics. She received both her master’s degree in human development and family life, and a doctorate in developmental psychology HIV/AIDS at the University of Kansas. She joined the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2005 in a postdoctoral fellowship position founded by the National Institute of Mental Health in the Department of Psychology. Dr. Berkley-Patton received a tenure as an associate professor in the UMKC Department of Psychology, where she still remains as an adjunct. She leads the unconquered path of African American and community health research for the UMKC School of Medicine faculty. One of her noted research projects, Taking It to the Pews, was funded with a $3.2 million dollar grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to assess HIV testing. She is the director of the UMKC Community Health Research Group, which supports collaborative community research, and provides doctoral and undergraduate training in community participatory research. Dr. Berkley-Patton has been awarded many honors and professional memberships, including the Heartland Health Network and the National institute of Minority Health and health Disparities. She is a reviewer for both the University of Missouri Research Board and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where she helps improve public health practices through translational research.



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