Designing a Community Engaged Training Program for African American and Latinx Communities on COVID-19 in South Mississippi: Results from Qualitative Focus Groups Exploring Community Member Perceptions
Objective: The purpose of this study was to explore attitudes and perceptions on COVID awareness and education among African American and Latinx community members and stakeholders in South Mississippi through qualitative methods. Design: Virtual focus groups were conducted in Forrest, Hancock, Harrison, Hinds, and Jackson Counties through Zoom meetings. Community residents and stakeholders (N=56 total) participated. Zoom meetings were audio and video recorded, transcribed, and analyzed utilizing thematic analysis. A demographic survey was also administered. Results: Knowledge about COVID 19, vaccines, attitudes towards and beliefs about preventing COVID-19, intentions to prevent COVID-19, information seeking on COVID-19 preventative behaviors, and impact of COVID were identified as themes. Conclusion: Themes identified were consistent with other underserved areas in the South and provided key topics for development of Community Health Advisor training session curriculum.