177112 Impact of Teen Peer Advocates on Elementary Students' Knowledge of Diabetes

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Karen Jacqueline Coleman, PhD , Research and Evaluation, Southern California Permanente Medical Group, Pasadena, CA
Andrea Yoder , Elementary Institute of Science, San Diego, CA
Rachel Alba Araujo , Whittier Institute for Diabetes, La Jolla, CA
Leticia Lleva Ocana, MPH , Whittier Institute for Diabetes, La Jolla, CA
Jesica Oratowski , Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Maggie Shordon , Rady Children's Hospital, San Diego, CA
Chris Walker, MPH , Whittier Institute for Diabetes, La Jolla, CA
Athena Philis-Tsimikas, MD , Scripps Whittier Institute for Diabetes, La Jolla, CA
In response to the epidemic increases in child obesity, a multi-level community partnership was formed to promote healthy living at one low-income elementary school in San Diego, CA. As part of this partnership, teen peer advocates from one of the community partner organizations, the Elementary Institute of Science, were trained in diabetes awareness and prevention by the local American Diabetes Association (ADA) as well as Project Dulce of the Whittier Institute for Diabetes. These teen peer advocates (n = 17) were African American and Hispanic 13 16 year old middle and high school students. Once trained, the teen peer advocates created a diabetes awareness health fair for fifth grade students at the target elementary school. Knowledge was tested immediately before and after the two hour health fair. A total of 62 fifth grade students (10 12 years old) were tested. As a result of the health fair, more students knew the definition of diabetes (23% vs. 45%; p < .001), and could identify type 1 diabetes (23% vs. 40%; p < .01), type 2 diabetes (21% vs. 52%; p < .001), and the warning signs of diabetes (10% vs. 39%; p < .001). There was also a significant increase in knowledge about the recommended number of daily fruit and vegetable servings (57% vs. 82%; p < .01). Building partnerships among community organizations and schools is an excellent strategy to promote diabetes and obesity awareness for young children and in turn potentially prevent these diseases later in life.

Learning Objectives:
1. Create a teen peer advocacy program to educate elmentary school children. 2. Use instruments to measure health knowledge in elementary school children. 3. Model a comprehensive community-school partnership to prevent obesity and diabetes in low income communities.

Keywords: Child Health Promotion, Community-Based Partnership

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the lead investigator on the study
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.