205443 ACT II: Does being evidence-based help ensure training curricula are used?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Patricia M. Alt, PhD , Towson University, Towson, MD
Russell M. Morgan, DrPH , SPRY Foundation, President, Chevy Chase, MD
In order to improve the communication skills and professionalism of direct care employees and volunteers, the Aging Communications Training (ACT) curriculum was developed in 2006-7, based on extensive evidence-based research. Area Agency on Aging Master Trainers from thirteen states were trained in its use at the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4A) conference in 2007. After these Master Trainers returned to their states, they each trained at least twenty local trainers. Very positive evaluations were received from those trainer-trainees, and incorporated into the final report to the Retirement Research Foundation in 2008. This presentation examines its further implementation in local jurisdictions. Did the curriculum continue to be used? Was it modified? What actual difference did the program make to the direct care workers in aging services who were the eventual target of the training, and to their clients? By surveying the original trainers and those they trained, we are seeking the answers to these questions to enable further fine-tuning of the curriculum, making it even more valuable as the nation's senior population expands. In addition, ongoing efforts with local AAAs in several states to refine and spread the training beyond the usual “aging network” to other organizations with senior clients within their areas will be described, with particular emphasis on accomplishing this on a limited budget in times of reduced availability of public and foundation funding.

Learning Objectives:
1. Recognize the value of evidence-based training curricula for those working with older adults 2. Describe the successes and difficulties as the Aging Communications Training curriculum was implemented nationwide. 3. Analyze efforts to acquire support and funding for further distribution beyond the aging network.

Keywords: Aging, Community Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the primary investigator on the project.
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.