236243 Creating a Rigorous Instructional Foundation for Health Education Interventions: Integrating Cognitive Psychology and Adult Learning Theory to Foster Functional Health Literacy Skill Acquisition

Monday, October 31, 2011

Ariela M. Freedman, PhD, MPH, MAT , Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Decatur, GA
Kathleen R. Miner, PhD, MPH, MCHES , Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Katharina Echt, PhD , Atlanta VA Rehab R & D Center, School of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology, Emory University, Decatur, GA
Hannah LF Cooper, ScD, SM , Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Ruth Parker, MD , School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
The goal of health education and behavior change interventions is often to teach skills that participants can use, not just to impart facts. These may essentially be considered functional health literacy skills the basic health-related skills needed for daily living activities to ensure health. Health behavior theories are useful for developing psychosocial targets of health promotion, such as self-efficacy, yet they do not address the mechanisms by which individuals learn information and acquire skills. While a scientific approach is often taken with behavioral theories in intervention development, the same scientific considerations are not applied to an instructional approach. Without attention to the process of knowledge and skill acquisition, the potential impact of health behavior interventions is sharply limited. Recent literature suggests that health education interventions might increase effectiveness by incorporating theories from other disciplines, such as education or communication. This presentation proposes a novel integrated approach of cognitive psychology and adult learning theory to foster the acquisition of functional health literacy skills in health education and behavior change interventions. This presentation will provide a foundation on key terms and concepts of health literacy, followed by a primer on concepts from cognitive psychology and adult learning theory as related to health behavior change. Key concepts include sensory perception, depth of information processing, schema theory, and collaborative learning. Ultimately, this presentation demonstrates how the integration of cognitive psychology and adult learning theory can lead to the acquisition of functional health literacy skills to increase the effectiveness of future health education interventions.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe how functional health literacy skills serve as the foundation to behavior change interventions. Define key terms from cognitive psychology as applied to acquisition of functional health literacy skills. Define key terms from adult learning theory as applied to acquisition of functional health literacy skills.

Keywords: Health Literacy, Health Education Strategies

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: This is my dissertation research.
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.