249907 Vision, aging, and public health: An educational module for emerging public health professionals

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 11:30 AM

Sanghamitra Savadatti, MPH , Prevent Blindness Tri-State, Albany, NY
Kim Kelly , Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY
Larry Steele, PhD , Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, State of New York Department of Health, Albany, NY
Nita Patel, OD, MPH , Department of Public Health & Government Affairs, Prevent Blindness America, Chicago, IL
Jeff Todd, JD , Chief Operating Officer, Prevent Blindness America, Chicago, IL
Studies indicate that vision loss is associated with higher prevalence of chronic health conditions, falls, depression, and social isolation. When combined with chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, vision loss is associated with overall poorer health among people aged ≥65 years. Vision loss impacts quality of life by affecting one's ability to perform activities of daily living, including healthy lifestyle choices. As America's population ages, it is increasingly important for emerging public health professionals to understand the ramifications of vision loss, and view resulting issues from a public health lens. The Vision Health Integration and Preservation Program (VHIPP), a public-private partnership between Prevent Blindness Tri-State and the New York State Department of Health, with guidance from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and the American Council of the Blind, developed and delivered the pilot module, "Vision, Aging, and Public Health: A Module for Public Health Professionals" to graduate students within the "Public Health and Aging" course at the State University of New York at Albany . The content, focused on integrating vision into public health concepts and models, state and national data, and the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, will be institutionalized into the class henceforth using a "train the trainer" method. Pre- and post-test surveys showed a marked improvement in student knowledge based on average grade percentage (from 38% to 72%). Students responded very favorably to the content and delivery method. The module will be modified for educating other health-related disciplines, (e.g. occupational therapy and pharmacy).

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Program planning
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the inclusion of a vision, aging and public health educational module into an existing graduate level course on “Public Health and Aging” at an accredited school of public health.

Keywords: Vision Care, Aging

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I oversee and manage multiple eye health programs at the national level in my role as the Chief Operating Officer at Prevent Blindness America.
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.