141st APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

In This section

290633
Effectiveness of a health literacy training curriculum for providers and staff at rural oncology clinics: Results from the rural oncology literacy enhancement study (ROLES)

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 8:30 AM - 8:45 AM

Ana P. Martinez-Donate, PhD , University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Population Health Sciences, Madison, WI
Norma-Jean Simon , Department of Population Health Sciences, UW-Madison, Madison, WI
Julie Halverson, MA, MS , Department of Population Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
Paul Smith, MD , Department of Family Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
Erin Aagesen, MS, MPH , Health Literacy Wisconsin, a division of Wisconsin Literacy, Inc., Madison, WI
Sue Gaard, RN, MS , School of Nursing, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
David Hahn, MD , Dean Clinic, Madison, WI
Sam Lubner, MD , School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Ticiana Leal, MD , Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
Jeanne Schaaf Strickland, MA , Carbone Cancer Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
Rebecca Linskens, MA , Carbone Cancer Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
Amy Trentham-Dietz, PhD , Department of Population Health Sciences, Carbone Cancer Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
Limited health literacy (HL) results in medication mismanagement, inadequate utilization of healthcare services, and worse health outcomes. Rural cancer patients tend to have lower levels of HL than their counterparts in more urban areas. The ROLES developed and evaluated a pilot intervention to reduce HL barriers among rural cancer patients. The intervention included a HL curriculum for providers and staff in two rural hospitals. Four modules covered these domains of HL: 1) understanding health literacy and implications for patient care; 2) ensuring patient understanding; 3) communicating numbers to enhance decision-making, and 4) applying HL principles to joint agenda setting and written communication. Health literacy experts tailored and conducted trainings to meet the HL needs identified in the ROLES formative assessment. Participants (N=115) included physicians (14%), nurses (64%), and other medical staff (21%). Knowledge of HL barriers, HL skills, and self-efficacy engaging in HL-friendly practices were evaluated before and after each module with self-administered surveys. Pre and post composite scores were calculated for each module, with higher scores indicating greater HL skills. Paired t-tests were performed to measure change. Pre and post scores ranged from 13-52 and 29-63 (Cronbach's alpha = .62-.86), respectively, across the four modules. Improvements in all four mean composite scores were statistically significant (p<0.005). Participants reported being ‘Satisfied' (31%) or ‘Very satisfied' (66%) with the curriculum. This pilot curriculum increased HL knowledge, skills, and self-efficacy among providers and staff. Future evaluation activities will examine the impact of this training on cancer care.

Learning Areas:
Communication and informatics
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify components of a health literacy training curriculum for rural health care providers and staff. Evaluate the effectiveness of a 4 module health literacy training curriculum for providers and staff in rural oncology clinics.

Keywords: Cancer, Health Communications

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a PhD in Health Psychology and hold a tenure-track faculty appointment at the Department of Population Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison. I currently serve as Principal Investigator for the Rural Oncology Literacy Enhancement Study. I have 13 years of experience conducting research on health promotion, health behavior, and health education.
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.