245676 Building healthy communities by increasing research literacy among minority communities: Evaluation of the CARES Fellow Training

Monday, October 31, 2011: 10:45 AM

Jewel Stafford, MSW , Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
Janice Johnson Dias, PhD , Sociology Department, CUNY/John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, NY
Melody S. Goodman, PhD , Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
Introduction The Community Alliance for Research Empowering Social change (CARES) Fellows Training is an evidenced-based public health training designed to build the infrastructure for Community Based Participatory Research. We evaluated this program to examine the utility of training community stakeholders and to develop culturally appropriate interventions to improve health outcomes for minority and medically underserved populations on Long Island. Methods Nineteen community members participated in the CARES Fellow training which consisted of 11 didactic training sessions and 4 experiential workshops taught by multidisciplinary research faculty. Evaluation included baseline and follow assessments, pre and post- tests, and evaluation surveys at each session. Using quantitative and qualitative measures, we assessed change in participant's knowledge about public health and research methods. We also conducted in-depth semi-structured qualitative interviews (n=15) with Fellows regarding pedagogy and program experience. Results Based on the baseline and follow-up assessments, participants' knowledge of public health increased (scores increased by 26% on average). Thirteen (65%) Fellows completed the training and six (32%) are working on pilot CBPR projects that they developed in collaboration with researchers. Qualitative interview responses suggest that participants valued the training, improved their critical thinking, knowledge of research and communication skills. Discussion The CARES Fellows training increased participants research literacy and facilitated academic-community partnerships. Community members reported feeling empowered to use their new knowledge to engage in social change in their communities. This comprehensive research training may prove beneficial for research faculty and community stakeholders who desire to engage as equal partners in the research process.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Develop a comprehensive evidence based public health training 2. Describe the seven best practices to increase research literacy among diverse community stakeholders 3. Evaluate the effectiveness of a community based public health training using both quantitative and qualitative methods.

Keywords: Evaluation, Participatory Action Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am the research coordinator for the CARES Traing Cohort, participated in recruitment of participants, graded assessments, conducted orientation sessions, taught training sessions and co-taught two workshops.
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.