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247194 Healthy Living in the Mid-Carolinas expands behavior change programs to include individuals with intellectual disabilities
Monday, October 31, 2011: 1:24 PM
Background: Healthy Living in the Mid-Carolinas (HLMC), a seven year (2007-2014) initiative focused on disparate populations, recently expanded to include individuals with intellectual disabilities, an often overlooked population. Coordinated by FirstHealth of the Carolinas, a private, non-profit health care system based in Pinehurst, NC, HLMC addresses the high prevalence of poor nutrition, sedentary lifestyle and tobacco use in a five county, rural service area. Methods: FirstHealth partnered with eight sites (compensatory education programs, vocational rehabilitation centers and group homes) to implement multi-level, evidence-based programs, The Happy KitchenTM-(N=150) and PLAY (People Living Active Year round)-(N=76). Health educators modified The Happy KitchenTM,an interactive six-week nutrition program, to include step-by-step photo recipes and tools for label reading, meal planning and food preparation. Also a six week program, PLAY was modified with goal setting cards and adaptable fitness equipment to meet 2008 US physical activity guidelines. Results: Pre-post surveys with participants and staff/caregiver interviews revealed overall consumption increases in whole grains(27.4%), fruit and vegetables(29.3%) and low-fat dairy(20.6%). Soda consumption reduced 25.5%. Meeting physical activity guidelines increased 20.3%. Six-month post interviews and site visits revealed sustained individual behavior changes and environmental changes including curriculum integration, on-site gardens, walking trails, healthy food policies and tobacco-free zones. Conclusion: With a supportive environment, individuals with intellectual disabilities are successful in making health behavior changes. Lessons learned and resources shared in this session will provide the tools necessary to empower and instill confidence in health educators to include individuals with intellectual disabilities in future programs.
Learning Areas:Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
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
Keywords: Public Health Education and Health Promotion, Disability
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am a community health educator with over twelve years experience developing, implementing and evaluating community-based nutrition, physical activity and tobacco use interventions for disparate populations. I oversee patient education, curriculum development and health literacy programs. For the past three years, I have served as a volunteer Clinical Director for the NC Special Olympics Healthy Athletes - Health Promotion program.
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.
See more of: Health Promotion for Persons with Disabilities I: Intervention Programs
See more of: Disability