252840 Evaluating wellness workshops with trafficked women living in a shelter in Los Angeles, CA

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tamkhiet Jenkins , School of Public Health, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Annie Fehrenbacher, MPH , School of Public Health, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Diane Tan , School of Public Health, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Beni Hernandez , Shelter Program Coordinator, Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking, Los Angeles, CA
Susie Baldwin, MD, MPH , Office of Health Assessment and Epidemiology, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
BACKGROUND: From October 2010 to May 2011, UCLA graduate students piloted and qualitatively evaluated wellness workshops with female trafficking victims living in a shelter in Los Angeles, CA. The program aimed to fill gaps in health knowledge and to identify effective methods for evaluating health education programs with trafficked persons. METHODS: Eighteen female students facilitated nine workshops; four to five trafficked women attended each. After each workshop, facilitators completed a structured questionnaire describing educational activities, materials needed, number of participants, languages spoken, and length of workshops. Additionally, each activity and the overall workshop were rated using a five-point Likert scale on ease of presentation and perceived audience receptivity. RESULTS: Topics requested by shelter residents included patient-provider communication, nutrition, stress management, mental health and emotional coping, among others. All workshops were rated to have high receptivity (score of 4 to 5), and most facilitators reported ease in presenting the information (score of 3 to 5). Residents preferred skill-building activities such as reading a nutrition label or role-playing a doctor's visit over knowledge-based activities. Observations indicate that self-administered questionnaires and participant interviews to evaluate workshops would not be feasible with this population due to language and literacy barriers. DISCUSSION: The results of the facilitator evaluations should be regarded with caution, as they are susceptible to social desirability and recall bias. Nonetheless, the findings provide a glimpse into the health and wellness of trafficked persons. Creative and rigorous research is necessary to meet the needs of this diverse, underserved population.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify challenges in providing wellness workshops in a shelter for trafficked women. 2. Describe gaps in meeting the health needs of trafficked persons. 3. Compare the strengths and weakness of different evaluation techniques for assessing educational programs with trafficked persons.

Keywords: Health Education Strategies, Immigrant Women

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I developed the assessments the facilitators completed and provided two of the 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.