245027 “Diabetes and Healthy Eyes Toolkit:” A community-based approach for educating Hispanics/Latinos about diabetic eye disease

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Marcela Aguilar, MHS , Strategic Communications and Marketing Division, ICF Macro, Rockville, MD
Neyal J. Ammary-Risch, MPH, CHES , National Eye Institute, National Insitutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
Leslie Quiroz, MA , Strategic Communications and Marketing Division, ICF Macro, Rockville, MD
Diabetes now affects nearly 26 million people in the United States. All people with diabetes are at risk for diabetic eye disease (DED), a leading cause of vision loss and blindness. Visual impairment and blindness can have a negative impact on employment, mobility, and overall quality of life. Hispanics/Latinos experience disproportionate prevalence rates of diabetes and DED. The Diabetes and Healthy Eyes Toolkit was developed by the National Eye Health Education Program to help address health disparities by providing materials developed for populations highest at risk for vision loss due to DED.

The Toolkit, available in English and Spanish, provides community health workers (CHWs) with detailed guidance and instructional tools for educating people with diabetes about DED. The Toolkit features a flipchart with colorful graphics for use in small group settings, a comprehensive module that provides background information and activities, and a full-color booklet about the importance of proper eye care for participants. The content is based on the Health Belief Model and addresses people's beliefs about their susceptibility to DED, the severity of vision loss, and how they can act to protect their sight.

CHWs who pilot-tested the Toolkit indicated that the information is easy to follow, reading levels are appropriate, and language is culturally sensitive. They also said the Toolkit will fill a gap by providing education about DED. The Toolkit is now being distributed nationwide. Impact of the educational sessions is being gauged through pre- and post-tests administered to participants and an evaluation form for CHWs.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the impact of diabetes and diabetic eye disease among Hispanics/Latinos. 2. Describe the “Diabetes and Healthy Eyes” Toolkit. 3. Name at least three educational resources available from the National Eye Health Education Program that promote eye health among Hispanic/Latino communities.

Keywords: Diabetes, Latinos

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the manager who oversaw the production of the Toolkit.
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.