Lessons Learned from Rapid Community Needs Assessment in the African American Community During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Online Publication Date:
January 5, 2022
Publication Status:
Published Article MUSE Link:
Manuscript PDF File:

**Published in Progress in Community Health Partnerships (PCHP) volume 16.2S. All rights reserved.**
Background: With the accelerated spread of COVID-19 and current shelter-in-place orders from many local governments, African American (AA) communities appear more vulnerable as emerging data show disproportionate rates of infection and mortality among AAs across the nation.
Objectives: In a sample of AA church members, to conduct a rapid community assessment during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods: Our community-based participatory research (CBPR) team, partnering with the local AA church community and including trained lay health workers (LHWs), conducted the assessment via telephone and online.
Results: Although most participants reported high confidence regarding recommendations for physical distancing, over 60% reported elevated anxiety and stress, and 10% indicated that they needed more information about staying healthy and safe during the pandemic.
Conclusions: CBPR with LHWs is an effective method to implement a community needs assessment, problem-solve with community members, and build community health infrastructure during a public health crisis.