264655 Empowering older adults to co-construct knowledge for peer delivered health education and leadership through creating Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Jean Schensul, PhD , Institute for Community Research, Hartford, CT
Kim Radda, RN, MA , Institute for Community Research, Hartford, CT
Colleen Foster-Bey, MEd , Institute for Community Research, Hartford, CT
Clara Acosta-Glynn, MSW , Institute for Community Research, Hartford, CT
Ruth Goldblatt, DMD , Dental Medicine, Univ of Ct, Farmington, CT
Susan Reisine, PhD , Center fo Interdicisplinary Research in Women's Health, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT
Introduction and background: Older low income and minority adults experience disparities in access to current health information that could improve preventive self-management and change health norms. Structural barriers include generic rather than specifically tailored cultural content, inappropriate delivery sites, modalities and role models. This paper describes a facilitated empowerment approach to improving older adult health literacy and activism in promotion of flu vaccination and oral health by integrating local and scientific knowledge through the development of “frequently asked questions (FAQs)”. Methods: In each content area a dedicated team of academic/community researchers and health educators worked with seniors and residents with disabilities in senior housing to develop their own set of FAQs. The curriculum included forging individual and group identity around the health topic, raising questions about the topic, sorting and synthesizing questions into groups, talking with scientific experts about responses, combining local knowledge with scientific knowledge, comparing the group's work with existing FAQs from recognized sites, and developing visuals for each FAQ. Results: Individual level recognition of knowledge gaps, group consensus on definitions and visuals, and and use in advocacy and health promotion with peers and public. Outcomes. This methodology links previously marginalized and disempowered older adults and adults with disabilities to health education professionals; builds the basis for peer education programs to change social norms and health knowledge; produces locally, culturally, and situationally appropriate materials for use in health campaigns and multilevel interventions; promotes health leadership development; and it can be disseminated to other senior buildings and communities.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain steps in linking scientific and local knowledge to enable older low income adults and adults with disabilities to develop Frequently Asked Questions Discuss five ways that resident health promoters can use FAQs in peer education and advocacy List three reasons why this approach develops older adult leadership to reduce health disparities

Keywords: Intervention, Interactive Communication

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator of over 12 NIH research grants. I have conducted NIH, CDC and NIDCR funded research with older adults since 2002. I am PI on two NIDCR grants to reduce oral health disparities in older adults. I am a social science methodologist with multiple publications including books and over 80 articles in peer reviewed journals methodology and am an elected member of the Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association
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.