247541 Exploring Program to Encourage Active and Rewarding Lives for Seniors (PEARLS) with hard-to-reach populations

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 1:06 PM

Lesley Steinman, MSW, MPH , Health Promotion Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Kristen Hammerback, MA , University of Washington, Health Promotion Research Center, Seattle, WA
Mark Snowden, MD, MPH , Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Background: PEARLS is a home-based evidence-based depression intervention for older adults. While the program was designed to reach elders outside of traditional mental health settings, implementation has been challenging in some communities. Aims: We partnered with several local community-based organizations to identify hard-to-reach populations and strategies for improving program reach and implementation with these communities. Methods: Interviews and focus groups were conducted using semi-structured guides with staff and former clients from three social service agencies. Transcripts were analyzed using thematic content analysis to identify hard-to-reach populations and approaches for improving recruitment, enrollment, and retention. Member checking was used with participating agencies to refine our interpretation. Results: Veterans, African-American men and women, Filipino men, older adults (75+), rural communities, and people with limited education were identified as hard-to-reach populations. Strategies for improving recruitment and enrollment include sharing materials at local trusted organizations, introducing the program in private settings, and framing the program as life-skills and problem-solving. Training members of these communities as counselors and being flexible with the timing of sessions are important for facilitating client retention. Implications: Research findings will be used to inform technical assistance activities with PEARLS providers, changes to PEARLS program and training materials, and future PEARLS research activities.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the key components of the PEARLS program. 2. Identify several populations that are hard-to-reach with PEARLS. 3. Describe recommended approaches for community-based social service agencies to improve referral, enrollment and retention of hard-to-reach clients.

Keywords: Depression, Health Disparities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have participated in study design, data collection, data analysis and interpretation of findings activities for this abstract.
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.