235115 Effect of the Medstart program on increasing knowledge of diseases endemic to East Harlem in middle school students

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Romit Bhattacharya , Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
Samantha Zuckerman, MBW , Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
Anne Armstrong , Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
Amar Parikh , Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
Edward Chu , Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New YOrk, NY
Melissa Schneiderman , Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
Stephanie H. Factor, MD, MPH , Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
BACKGROUND: MedStart is a week-long mini-medical school run by Mount Sinai medical students for East Harlem middle school students. According to the most recent New York City Health and Mental Hygiene report, East Harlem residents are more than twice as likely to have asthma or diabetes when compared to all Manhattan residents, and they have higher rates of heart disease and hypertension as well. HYPOTHESIS: Students who complete the MedStart program increase their knowledge of diseases that disproportionally affect East Harlem residents. METHODS: 60 students were selected based on teacher recommendations and student applications. Students received instruction in physiology, asthma and pulmonary disease, diabetes and nutrition, heart disease and first aid via lectures, interactive activities and simulated patient scenarios. The same pre- and post- survey of 20 questions was used to assess student knowledge of disease. RESULTS: Fifty-two students took the initial survey, and 55 students took the final survey. Student scores improved from 47% to 66% in overall knowledge (p<.001), from 30% to 60% in human physiology (p<.001), from 51% to 72% in diabetes and nutrition (p<.001), from 45% to 68% in heart disease (p=.001), and from 60% to 75% in first aid (p=.004). Students' scores for asthma and pulmonary disease improved from 67% to 80%, but the changes were not statistically significant (p=.07). CONCLUSIONS: Students in the MedStart program had a statistically significant improvement in their knowledge of organ physiology, disease pathogenesis, and disease prevention and treatment, except in the area of asthma and pulmonary disease.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
1. Evaluate the efficacy of MedStart as a vehicle to convey knowledge of endemic disease to East Harlem youth. 2. Compare the acquisition of medical knowledge between subgroups of MedStart students.

Keywords: Health Education, Community Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the lead investigator for this research. I was also the co-director of MedStart, the program for East Harlem middle school youth, that this research was based on.
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.