Online Program

Incorporating behavioral community health worker skills and knowledge into the integrated plan of care

Monday, November 4, 2013

Stacy F. Kelley, MPH, Department of Clinical Services, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consotrium, Anchorage, AK
Christine DeCourtney, MPA, Division of Community Health Services, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consotrium, Anchorage, AK
The AN Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) conducted a statewide survey of Behavioral Health Aide (BHA) Community Health Workers to assess the need for psychological and emotional support training in working with cancer survivors, families and communities and to identify topics for a curriculum. An electronic survey was developed and distributed to BHAs. They were asked about cancer survivors living in their community and the difficulties they may face. They were also asked about their comfort level in addressing cancer related emotional issues and concerns patients may face regarding the stigma of cancer. The majority of BHAs (79%) felt that community members were aware of cancer survivors returning to their village post treatment; and 50% felt that a stigma of cancer exists. Of BHAs who provided counseling to cancer survivors, 63% noted lack of proper training. “Emotional concerns” was reported as the most difficult topic to discuss (60%). Overwhelmingly, BHAs agree that it is their job to provide care for cancer survivors. Almost all (98%) reported that they would likely participate in training. Results indicate the need for additional training focused on support for cancer survivors and their families. Most BHAs have been or will be called upon to provide this support and only about 20% of BHAs feel they have the training and skills to do so. The survey also revealed the overall need for better care coordination between Health Aide and Behavioral Health Aide community health workers. The survey provided excellent recommendations to guide curriculum development for BHA training.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
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
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe the successful methods used to assess Community Health Worker knowledge regarding the specific needs within their communities and area of focus. Analyze assessment results and incorporate findings into curriclum development and system change recommendations. Explain the curriclum development process used and the integration of skills and knowledge into the healthcare team approach for specific individuals.

Keyword(s): Rural Health Service Providers, Community-Based Partnership

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the manager on this project and have experience in cancer program development and planning.
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.