Online Program

Computer-based training for improving caregiver support of preventive health screenings in adults with intellectual disabilities

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Courtney Noblett-Dutra, MPA, Center for Developmental Disabilities Evaluation and Research (CDDER), University of Massachusetts Medical School, Waltham, MA
People with intellectual disability frequently rely on caregivers for support in maintaining healthy behaviors; affecting change in these behaviors often requires a multimodal ecological approach. As part of a state-wide initiative to establish effective health supports and increase preventive screening for adults with intellectual disability, the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services used a train-the-trainer model to train staff at service provider agencies on preventive health screenings. Post-training evaluations indicated poor performance of this model due to inconsistencies in training resulting in a lack of knowledge penetration among staff trained outside of the initial training. Instead, an individual-level, content-specific training was needed that could be customized at the state level and targeted directly towards caregivers, with the capacity to be accessed easily and shared broadly. An alternative comprehensive intervention was designed to directly target caregiver education and organizational policies to ensure support of preventive health screenings. A computer-based training was created, piloted, and implemented statewide to teach caregivers specific advocacy skills, effective communication with health care providers, and support strategies for reducing anxiety and improving comfort of adults when receiving health screenings. Organizational polices were targeted through increased awareness and promotion of preventive health screening recommendations. Affordable, commercially available software allowed efficient customization to state agency needs. Satisfaction surveys indicate that participants found the training beneficial (88%), interesting (100%), and of high value (83%), and knowledge gain was demonstrated through pre-post testing. This method may have applicability in other populations who rely on caregivers for support with health needs and communication.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education

Learning Objectives:
Describe benefits of using computer-based training as an effective method for training caregivers to support adults with intellectual disabilities in receiving preventive health screenings.

Keyword(s): Public Health Education and Health Promotion, Disability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have over 10 years of experience in the intellectual disabilities (ID) field and have coordinated, supported, and initiated several publicly-funded projects related to improving health behaviors among adults with ID. I have a Masters degree in public administration and have completed several graduate level courses on instructional design and adult learning. I have many years of experience in assessing training need, designing web and print based trainings, and in evaluating training goals and outcomes.
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.