142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Changing the social geography of health learning: How, with whom and where

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 12:30 PM - 12:45 PM

Elizabeth M. Bertera, MSW, PhD , School of Social Work, Howard University, Washington, DC, DC
Robert L. Bertera, DrPH, CHES , Bertera Associates, Silver Spring, MD
High blood pressure (HBP) remains a challenge for many throughout the lifespan. This pilot program paired older adults and youth in a way that changed the social learning environment.  Over 200 Middle-school students and older adults (ages 50+) from five metropolitan areas in the USA worked together on cooperative learning activities such as taking blood pressure measurements, reading food labels, and writing behavioral change goals. The two-hour public school-based small group sessions changed the how, with whom and where of high blood pressure and healthy lifestyle learning among participants. Sessions were led by an adult volunteer who divided youth and adults into pairs or triads to work together on discussions, worksheets, and measuring weights, heights, and blood pressures.  Knowledge, beliefs and self-efficacy were measured before and after the session using standardized scales tailored to the population. Results showed that learning in pairs significantly increased health knowledge and self-efficacy. The largest gain in knowledge was understanding what high blood pressure is for both older adults and youth (p<.05); for adults, the second largest gain was understanding risk factors and followed by how to treat HBP (p<.05); for youth, the second largest gain was how to prevent HBP (p<.05). Self-efficacy of preventing HBP and managing healthy lifestyle increased significantly in both populations (p<.05), but increased more in older adults than in youth. This suggests that changes in how, with whom and where health learning takes place present a promising tool for high blood pressure education in low SES youth and older populations.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
List at least three unique features of paired learning in community settings that make this approach promising for engaging and empowering youth and older adults Discuss the ways that social geography of how, with whom and where learning is structured can alter health education outcomes in evidence-based programs. Name the potentials and pitfalls of paired learning with older adults and youth.

Keyword(s): Health Promotion and Education, Self-Efficacy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a principal investigator on federally funded grants focusing on health promotion and disease prevention among older adults. My scientific interests has been to educate older adults about the prevention of Diabetes and High Blood Pressure. I currently teach courses in aging and health to MSW and PhD students at my current university.
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.