181534 Promoting public health without borders: Using a community health assessment and intervention model and technology to promote health in high risk populations

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 11:00 AM

Kathleen A. Sternas, PhD, RN , College of Nursing, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ
MaryAnn Scharf, EdD , College of Nursing, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ
Background/Problem: Inner city communities experience high rates of obesity/poor nutrition, asthma, lead poisoning, smoking, alcoholism, chronic/communicable diseases, few immunizations, violence, homelessness. Collaboration on assessment and intervention projects can help meet needs of high-risk populations. Internet technology is a valued strategy for learning. Objectives:This presentation describes a collaborative model for community assessment and intervention which uses Internet technology and has demonstrated positive outcomes for high-risk populations, agency partners and students. Design:Descriptive research. Methods:Traditional(n=169) and second degree(n=162) community health nursing students, and 98 agency partners participated. Procedures:The model focuses on students, partners and faculty collaborating to assess high-risk populations, plan, implement and evaluate interventions that address needs. Students select a project identified by partners and learn how to apply Internet technology in community assessment/intervention. Students/partners complete outcome evaluations. Results: Students/partners practice where public health needs exist and provide public health nursing without borders to promote health. The model works with different ethnic groups, income levels, and organization including schools, day care centers, hospitals, health departments, home care agencies, mother-baby organizations, elderly, chronically ill, mentally ill, homeless, substance abuse and poor populations. Students used Internet technology for: identifying needs/problems; assessment; research on evidence-based interventions; creating brochures/posters/games. Interventions included: asthma triggers computer program; baby's development diary; drug effects and healthy foods board games; bed-bug infestations manual; Aids Museum Project health binder; mental illness resource book; STD brochure which increased clinic attendance; educational materials on alcohol/smoking during pregnancy; obesity/healthy eating; violence; immunizations. Students (100%) agreed experiences increased competence in assessment/planning community interventions. Traditional(93.8%) and accelerated(100%) students reported improved Internet abilities. Students reported expertise in caring for high-risk populations; leadership; evidence of intervention effectiveness. Agency partners reported interventions promoted health/decreased health problems. Partners(100%) agreed assessments/interventions met community needs, helped with program planning/grants. Outcomes included new health programs/educational resources. Conclusions: The collaborative model for community assessment/intervention that uses Internet technology helps meet health needs of high-risk populations, results in positive outcomes for community members, agency partners, students. Implications include educating nurses/students about the usefulness of the collaborative process model and ways to use Internet technology for meeting assessment/intervention needs of high-risk populations.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe a collaborative model for community assessment and intervention which promotes public health without borders, includes application of Internet technology, and has demonstrated positive outcomes for community members, agency partners, and students; 2. Identify ways to use Internet technology for community assessment and intervention projects to meet needs and promote health among high-risk populations.

Keywords: Public Health Education and Health Promotion, Community Health Assessment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have conducted the work for this presentation.
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.