242707 Evaluation of a Special Olympics funded community-based health promotion program for individuals with developmental disabilities in two African countries

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tamar Heller, PhD , Department of Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Kelly Hsieh, PhD , Department of Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Luca Badetti , Department of Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Background. This study evaluated the efficacy and feasibility of a Special Olympics funded one –year community-based health promotion program focusing on hygiene, nutrition, and physical activity for individuals with developmental disabilities (DD) and their families in Kenya and Mauritius . Methods. Process evaluation and pre and post data including participant interviews and informant surveys were collected on 182 individuals with DD. Measures included weight; exercise knowledge, attitudes, barriers, and self-efficacy; hygiene behaviors, nutrition knowledge, and program satisfaction. Also, interviews with 10 administrators and coaches were used in the process evaluation. Results. For Kenya, after the intervention, the participants reported improved exercise knowledge (p=.00) and hygiene behaviors (p= .004) and fewer being underweight (p=.00). For Mauritius, after the intervention, participants reported less exercise barriers (p=.00), more positive exercise attitudes (p=.007), increased exercise knowledge (p=.00), self-efficacy (p=.00), and personal hygiene behavior (p=.005); and fewer being overweight (p=.00). In both programs desire to continue the program was very high and participants particularly enjoyed playing sports and learning cooking. After funding ended, the programs sustained themselves through developing partnerships with industry and with a university and by establishing a small business enterprise. Conclusion. Model health education programs focusing on community partnerships can result in improved healthy lifestyles for individuals with DD and can be sustainable in African countries.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
1. List at least 4 outcome measures of a health education program for individuals with DD. 2. Discuss ways to sustain community based health promotion programs for individuals with DD.

Keywords: Community-Based Health Promotion, Disability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversee a federal funded research center in developmental disabilities, a clinic center, and other research programs.
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.