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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
3097.0: Monday, December 12, 2005 - 10:30 AM

Abstract #115360

Health Attitudes and Behavior of Staff Working with People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Beth A. Marks, PhD, RN1, Jasmina Sisirak, MPH1, Tamar Heller, PhD2, and Kelly Hsieh, PhD1. (1) Department of Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1640 W. Roosevet Rd (MC 626), Chicago, IL 60608, 312-413-4097, bmarks1@uic.edu, (2) Department of Developmental Disabilities, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1640 W. Roosevelt, Chicago, IL 60608

Community-based organizations serving adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) are increasingly developing health promotion programs for their clients. While several studies have examined health perceptions and behaviors of persons with I/DD, no systematic research has examined the health behaviors and needs of employees who provide direct support care to adults with I/DD. A paucity of data exists concerning the health perceptions and health behaviors of staff responsible for implementing health promotion programs for persons with I/DD. Staff health status, health perceptions and health behaviors may have an impact on the care that they are providing to people with I/DD. This descriptive study analyzed data collected from 93 staff working in community-based agencies for adults with I/DD. Measures included demographics and health information (including health behaviors), energy/fatigue and psychological well-being, exercise outcome expectations, barriers to exercise, and self-efficacy to perform exercise. Results from this study found 59.7% of the participants had a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25 and 69.6% were currently smoking. For staff reporting greater health promoting behaviors were significantly, they were more likely to feel energetic, feel less depressed, perceive fewer barriers to engaging in physical activity, and feel more self-confident in doing certain activities related to exercise. Staff with higher BMIs reported significantly lower levels of energy and felt less self-confident to do certain activities related to exercise behavior. These results suggest a need for further research related to worksite health promotion program for staff working in community-based programs with adults with I/DD.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Occupational Health Programs, Disability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Disability and Health Promotion I

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA