Through support by Mayo Clinic’s Spirit of EAGLES program (PI: Kaur, NCI 1U54 CA 153605), NACR and its partners (Southeast American Indian Council and Nebraska Urban Indian Health Coalition) conducted needs assessments of their respective American Indian communities.
Previously, NACR had conducted multiple needs assessments through literature review and one-on-one interviews. The latter were very expensive. Because NACR and its partners needed updated information about their respective communities and monies were limited, the Project Team conducted needs assessments using Audience Response System (ARS) during group activities (convenience sample). The intended population for the study was a convenience sample of a total of 500 adult AI community members, both genders and living within any one of the three geographic settings described above. Participants had to be able to respond to questions posed during the small group sessions; non-English speaking individuals with someone who could translate also could take part. Additionally, while the needs assessment was designed for AIs living within the region, since data collection took place at community events, non-Natives attending the event were welcomed to take part. Each Partner collaborated with local AI organizations to identify and recruit participants at community venues (e.g. health fairs, PowWows, exhibits, education sessions, and community gatherings). The needs assessment facilitator invited all in attendance to take part in a one-to two-hour needs assessment session either during the event or later.
During the sessions, facilitators used Power Point® slides and ARS equipment and software to anonymously collect participants’ responses. After all ARS questions were completed, the facilitator asked the participants for any questions or topics they wanted to discuss. The facilitator returned to the requested questions and the group shared their opinions and discussed how and why the item was important for their local community. The participants also were invited to suggest the types of programs they wanted to have in the future related to the needs assessment topics. The ARS method for collecting needs assessment data during community events was less expensive than one-on-one data collection, more efficient than take-home surveys and for most settings, very successful.
Table 1 summarizes the categories included within the needs assessment.
The Partners collected needs assessment data from 677 community members. Examples of findings:
AI community members requested: