Karen Ng, BA, Roberta Horton, LCSW, ACSW, and Arthur Yee, MD, PhD. Department of Patient Care & Quality Management, Hospital for Special Surgery, 535 East 70th St., New York, NY 10021, 212-774-2508, firstname.lastname@example.org
SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus), a potentially life-threatening multi-system, autoimmune disease, primarily affects women (9:1). Although almost 2 million people in the U.S. have lupus, African American, Latina, Native American, and Asian American women are disproportionately affected. This illness can be particularly challenging to address due to barriers related to health beliefs, cultural, and linguistic differences. Hospital for Special Surgery's national LANtern program, developed in 2003, uses an innovative approach to intervention concerning this underrecognized Asian women's health issue. The program's goal is to create and expand networks of hope and understanding, which will provide enlightenment concerning this complex illness. This model program, made possible by funding from Rheuminations, Inc. utilizes trained bilingual Chinese peer health educators with lupus themselves to provide telephone education and support for people with lupus and their family members. The focus of this presentation will be to describe the results of a needs assessment which led to the adaptation of this peer based model, and to demonstrate the efficacy of utilizing peers who are similar in culture, language, and illness related experience to deliver empowering health care messages. Engagement of volunteers, challenges to recruitment and retention, and an analysis of our training curriculum which incorporates culturally diverse health education and psychosocial content will be described. We will also highlight the contribution of our community partners in helping us to communicate our message in a linguistically and culturally meaningful way. This innovative approach to serving culturally diverse communities can be readily adapted to other chronic illnesses.
Related Web page: www.hss.edu/Conditions/Systemic-Lupus-Erythematosus-(SLE)/Lantern-Lupus-Asian-Network
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA