219520 A community-level demonstration project to promote brain health among African American Baby Boomers

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 12:30 PM - 12:45 PM

Felicia T. Fuller, DrPh , National Office - Public Policy and Advocacy, Alzheimer's Association, Chicago, IL
C. Ashani Johnson-Turbes, PhD , ICF Macro, Atlanta, GA
Danielle Beauchesne, MPH , ICF Macro, Atlanta, GA
Sarah Abood, MPH , ICF Macro, Atlanta, GA
As the U.S. population ages, cognitive decline becomes a public health concern because the risk for cognitive decline increases as people age. Evidence now supports the link between vascular and dietary risk factors and increased risk for cognitive impairment. Studies indicate that African Americans are at greater risk for vascular conditions and bear a disproportionate burden of chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, which have been linked to cognitive impairment/dementia/Alzheimer's disease.

This study evaluates the Healthy Brain Initiative Demonstration Project (HBI), the nation's first community-level, culturally-relevant demonstration project designed to increase knowledge and awareness of brain health, increase intentions to engage in physical activity, and promote prevention and management of vascular risks among African Americans born from 1946 through 1964.

The evaluation used a quasi-experimental, mixed-method design involving collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data from many sources before, during, and after implementation of the HBI in two sites – Atlanta, Georgia and Los Angeles, California. The purpose of the evaluation was to assess fidelity to the HBI's core components during implementation, strategic partnership outcomes, and outcomes of the half-day Healthy Brain Champion Workshop.

Results show that all four core elements of the HBI (i.e., strategic partnerships, healthy brain champions, community events, and media activities) were implemented in the demonstration sites. The findings also indicate that the HBI increased knowledge/awareness of brain health and increased intentions to engage in health protective behaviors to maintain overall health and, potentially, brain health among African American baby boomers.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Chronic disease management and prevention
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
Program planning
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
- Describe the value of culturally tailoring materials to increase awareness of brain health and to affect intentions to change behavior in a vulnerable target population (African Americans) in order to improve overall health - Recognize the importance of community (1) partnerships, (2) “Champions,” and (3) events in developing, implementing, and/or sustaining a culturally-appropriate community-level demonstration project - Gain skills in designing and conducting a culturally-appropriate, health communication demonstration project for African Americans as it pertains to brain health and overall health promotion - Increase awareness of the Alzheimer’s Association’s Healthy Brain Initiative demonstration project and its components

Keywords: Health Disparities, Aging

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the project manager and have overseen planning, implementation and evaluation of 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.