228393 Diabetes teaching modules for those with low literacy

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Peggy Gallup, PhD, MPH , Department of Public Health, S Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT
Cindy Kozak, RD, CDE , Diabetes Prevention and Control, Connecticut Department of Public Health, Hartford, CT
William Stohler, MPH, EdD , Department of Public Health, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT
Kimberley Lacey, DNSc, MSN , Department of Nursing, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT
Mariza Rsado, BS Public Health , Eastern Connecticut AHEC, Willimantic, CT
A series of diabetes low-literacy handouts and teaching modules for patients with low educational levels and limited English proficiency were developed. The development was based upon ideas from focus groups conducted with clinical staff, (nurses, dieticians, certified diabetes educators and medical assistants) from two Community Health Centers. The clinicians defined the topics and the target audience. They emphasized that materials must be written at a very-low reading level, with a single uncomplicated message that could be delivered in a brief encounter. Having Spanish versions available was also important. Draft versions of the pamphlets were reviewed in another focus group with staff and by a diabetes patient support group, and they were modified according to their comments.

The pamphlets address blood sugar, diabetes medication, healthy eating, physical activity, depression, stress management and support from family and friends. They are written at a fourth grade level with simple short phrases and illustrated with Word's Clip Art. They are low cost in that each is “Camera Ready,” so organizations can make their own. They are also available in Spanish. The teaching modules describe talking points that community health workers and medical assistants can use to reinforce the self-management practices in the pamphlets, and to begin conversations. In addition a colored poster entitled “Live free with Diabetes” was created illustrating the Statue of Liberty wearing sneakers and surrounded by icons that represent diabetes management. Electronic versions of the materials are available free of charge from the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the elements of creating materials for those with low-literacy Explain the unique edicational needs of low-literacy patients for diabetes self-mangagement.

Keywords: Diabetes, Literacy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Professor of Public Health at Southern Connecticut State University and have an MPH and PhD in Public Health, as well as being an RN. I was the project director for the diabetes education program.
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.