186846 User-Friendly Tools to Promote Lifestyle Changes by Bridging the Gap Between Established Curriculums, Community Health Workers and the Target Population

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sharon Soper , WISEWOMAN Program, QueensCare Family Clinics, Los Angeles, CA
QueensCare Family Clinic is located in the Los Angeles area. Community Health workers have played a key role implementing the lifestyle interventions from the VSCC) curriculum for the California WISEWOMAN program.

Women interested in improving their nutrition found it challenging to practically utilize some of the established models used for making food choices when planning meals. The Community Health Worker and RN developed a simple food diary that visualizes the task of food planning within the parameters of the food pyramid. It allows low-literacy clients to participate in food planning and reinforces accountability. The food diary complements the VSCC curriculum and includes physical activity and emotional stress indicators. These tools encourage client dialogue on their daily progress during the lifestyle intervention, and, she in turn is helped with contextualized counseling.

Another example of a user-friendly tool is the BMI Stoplight. This is a culturally relevant way to help women visualize their BMI as a means of motivating them to take small steps towards a healthy heart weight. Women are empowered when visual tools simplify the meaning of clinical measurements like BMI or sophisticated nutritional models. They are motivated to implement change when lessons are cognitively out of reach.

Effective user-friendly tools are developed from the context of the people who are directly involved in the giving and receiving of lessons, and this increases the value of the lifestyle interventions and helps to achieve overall curriculum goals. (One community health worker will co-present)

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss two examples of contextualized user-friendly tools created to empower Latina women that simplify the task of achieving lifestyle changes following the New Leaf curriculum. 2. Evaluate the advantages that contextual user-friendly tools have to bridge the meaning between community health worker and the target population in order to reach established curriculum goals.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the WISEWOMAN program manager for this pilot site
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.