176643 Using participatory methods to develop intervention programs and social marketing for homecare workers

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 8:30 AM

Linda Ayala, MPH , Public Authority of IHSS of Alameda County, Oakland, CA
Sherry L. Baron, MD MPH , Coordinator Occupational Health Disparities, National Institutes for Occupational Safety and Health, CDC, Cincinnati, OH
Laura Stock, MPH , Labor Occupational Health Program, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Fang Gong, PhD , Surveillance Branch, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, OH
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and its partners initiated a project aimed at promoting health and safety among homecare workers (HCWs). The goals of the study were to use a participatory research method to 1) develop educational materials (i.e., safety checklist and resource guide), 2) empower HCWs to work collaboratively with consumers (recipients of care) to use the materials, and 3) develop social marketing strategies to promote health and safety among HCWs.

Eleven focus groups were conducted with workers and consumers in multiple languages to obtain initial feedback on the format of the checklists and identify key concerns as social marketing messages. Results included responses to the format of the checklists (e.g. the importance of using visuals to convey key information) and key concerns such as job insecurity among workers and institutional barriers. Based on focus group results, prototype checklists were developed and key social marketing messages were extracted. A multiethnic community health worker group comprised of HCWs and consumers was established and trained to conduct interviews to gain further feedback on the checklist prototypes and social marketing strategies. Steps were taken to facilitate discussions between community partners to address institutional and procedural barriers.

This presentation will discuss the process and benefits of using participatory research methods at all stages of a project: the initial conceptualization of goals and objectives, the design stage, and the stage of implementation and refinement of social marketing messages. It will also discuss the key challenges of addressing institutional barriers to health and safety.

Learning Objectives:
1. Recognize the strengths and challenges of involving community health workers in the development of health intervention and social marketing. 2. Discuss the social marketing messages and strategies to promote health and safety for homecare workers. 3. Describe the participatory approach to developing health and safety interventions for homecare workers.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a MPH in Community Health Education from UC Berkeley and have been participating as a project partner in the research reported on in this presentation since it's inception. I have been involved in reviewing and implementing research tools and activities, and analysis of the results. For the past 7 years I have be developing training for homecare workers in Alameda County and have been working with low-income populations on community health projects for the past 20 years in Oakland, CA.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.