207190 Health literacy education and communication in the Philadelphia immigrant community

Monday, November 9, 2009

Anna M. Quinn , Jefferson School of Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
Maura A. Murphy , Jefferson School of Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
Katie E. Thomas , Jefferson School of Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
Issues: Current research on immigrants in the US demonstrates that the more time immigrants live in this country, the less healthy they become. Disparities in immigrant populations occur due to numerous factors including lack of insurance, lack of knowledge on where to find health care whether insured or not, and communication issues with health care professionals.

Description: Based upon the Health Belief Model public health graduate students developed and facilitated health education lessons to students learning English as a Second Language (ESL). Topics included doctor-patient communication, health screenings, disease education, nutrition, and hand washing techniques.

A guide to local health care facilities was provided and reviewed. Facilities included hospitals, clinics, shelters, food banks, farmers markets, government resources, and G.E.D preparation classes.

Lessons Learned: The ESL students reported hearing of the topics prior to the intervention but not fully understanding the concepts. Subsequent to the lessons the students reported a higher comprehension of the topics and valued the level of detail and time allowed for discussion. Students requested that additional lessons be provided and introduced at other facilities.

The guide proved of value as students were unfamiliar with the majority of the resources specifically clinics, food banks, farmers markets and government services.

Recommendations: Moving forward, the guide will be expanded to include additional facilities, the language(s) spoken at each facility and transportation information. Further, public health students throughout the city will be invited to join the initiative to broaden the population reached.

Learning Objectives:
1.) To understand health literacy level of the Philadelphia immigrant community. 2.) To articulate the key components of health education and communication needed to increase knowledge of health care facilities and comprehension of critical personal health advocacy.

Keywords: Literacy, Immigrants

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Educational background supports this initiative in addition to volunteer experience for over four years with the immigrant community.
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.