160353 Pilot study of two health education sessions using health icons for African-American older adults who completed the Chronic Disease Self Management Program

Monday, November 5, 2007

Abbie Schlener , Department of Family and Community Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
Christine Arenson, MD , JMC Department of Family and Community Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
Molly A. Rose, PhD , JCHP School of Nursing, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
Julie Becker, PhD, MPH , JMC Department of Family and Community Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
Rickie O. Brawer, PhD MPH , Center for Urban Health, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
Pamela Harrod-Smith, MS , Office to Advance Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
James J. Diamond, PhD , Department of Family and Community Medicine, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, PA
Self management programs have been shown to improve health outcomes and quality of life for people who suffer from chronic conditions. Low-income minority elders who have participated in self management programs have had some difficulty maintaining such improvement after the intervention. The purpose of this study was to pilot two health education sessions for completers of a chronic disease self management program and also the use of health behavior icons as visual memory aids. A program based on the Stanford Patient Education model was administered to a predominantly African American population of senior citizens at senior centers, churches, and senior housing sites in Philadelphia. Although results showed improvements in general health, symptom management, and physical activities; qualitative evaluation of the program revealed that participants had difficulty translating the themes of the program into health behaviors. The participants expressed satisfaction and great interest in continuing the program beyond the designated six week period. Investigators developed two health education sessions based on topics identified by participants (healthy eating and good sleeping habits) and introduced icons to serve as memory aids and visual cues for specific health behaviors (e.g. Drink more water; Set a regular bedtime). Forty participants attended the program at four community sites. Participants completed pre/post tests of knowledge about the sessions, an icon comprehension test, and a follow-up telephone interview. Analysis will focus on the feasibility of the sessions and use of icons as a way to reinforce themes and behaviors learned in self-management programs.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the process for piloting low-literacy education sessions and the use of icon tools. Discuss the challenges of literacy and retention in health education in an older African American population. Discuss lessons learned and implications for policies related to health management for seniors.

Keywords: Chronic Diseases, Health Education Strategies

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.