270675 Storytelling as a tool for health education: Combining technology and community participation to produce tailored educational modules for low literacy older adults

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 8:54 AM - 9:06 AM

Elizabeth M. Bertera, MSW, PhD , School of Social Work, Howard University, Washington, DC, DC
Agnelli Sybel, MPA, MPH , School of Social Work, Howard Univeristy, District of Columbia, DC
Purpose: To produce and test wellness modules tailored to the needs, interests, language and health literacy of older African Americans. Background: Organizations serving lower socioeconomic aging communities often lack resources to deliver tailored wellness educational materials. Methods: A community participatory model was used in 12 affordable housing sites. This approach included: 1) collecting themes and concerns about diabetes and high blood pressure from a systematic review and focus groups; 2) Identifying community volunteers for photo images and recorded voices; 3) scripting stories, shooting photos and recording voices; 4) assembling and editing (photos, voices, graphics, and music); and 5) editing storytelling slide shows based on test group feedback. Technologies used were: digital camera, tape recorder, laptop computer, and photo editing and slide show software. Four educational modules lasting 3 hours each were presented to groups averaging 15 community participants (N=212) over 3 years. Comparison group members (N=217) completed baseline and follow-up surveys. Results: Results for diabetes and high blood pressure outcomes each showed significant pre-post intervention improvement in mean self-efficacy scores (p <.000), versus no change in comparison groups. Mean self-efficacy scores increased more in lower compared to higher health literacy respondents (p<.01). Over 85% reported the storytelling using technology approach was useful and helped self-management. Conclusion: Storytelling using volunteers is an economical way to deliver tailored health messages to communities, especially those with low health literacy. Implications: Combining existing technology coupled with community participation can facilitate the production of health and wellness modules for low literacy older minority populations.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe how to create tailored modules using community volunteers, and readily available technology such as digital camera, tape recorder, and software for photo editing and slide shows. 2. Assess how self-efficacy and participant satisfaction is evaluated in the context of storytelling slide shows for older adults living with diabetes and high blood pressure.

Keywords: Community Education, Aging

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator on this funded research project.
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.