Online Program

What is culturally-respectful distance-delivered health education with and for Alaska Native people?

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 1:10 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Melany Cueva, RN, EdD, Community Health Aide Program, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Anchorage, AK
Katie Cueva, MAT, MPH, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Laura Revels, BA, Community Health Services, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Anchorage, AK
Regina Kuhnley, RN, CNM, M.Ed, Community Health Aide Program, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Anchorage, AK
Mark Dignan, PhD, MPH, College of Medicine/Prevention Research Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Anne Lanier, MD, MPH, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Anchorage, AK
Alaska’s village-based healthcare providers - Community Health Aides and Practitioners (CHA/Ps) - requested cancer information for themselves and communities.  However, Alaska’s geographic and economic challenges limit the amount of in-person education available for CHA/Ps.  In response, a research team at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium received an award from the National Cancer Institute to create a culturally-respectful distance delivered cancer education course for Alaska’s CHA/Ps. 

A multi-faceted approach has been undertaken to understand what culturally-relevant distance-delivered education might look and feel like.  Ten health educators engaged in supporting Alaska Native community wellness participated in a two-hour focus group.  Three existing cancer education online learning modules created with, and for, Alaska’s CHA/Ps, were completed between March 2013 and December 2014 by 178 predominantly female (78%), Alaska Native/American Indian (76%), CHA/Ps (94%) who offered feedback.  Additional approaches include a review of published peer-reviewed literature, a CHA/P internet survey, and in-depth interviews with 10 Alaska Native stakeholders. 

Emerging themes for culturally-respectful distance-education have included: personal stories, relationships, traditional values, and being respectful of individual learners.  The focus group of healthcare educators shared that relationships, stories, laughter/humor, valuing the learners, and being attentive to emotions were culturally-respectful educational practices.  The majority of online learners felt the existing modules were culturally respectful (92%), with write-in comments sharing themes that culturally respectful aspects included stories and Alaska-specificity: “I really enjoyed the personal stories and aspect of other communities.”  Preliminary results of the literature review, CHA/P survey, and in-depth interviews will also be shared.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe findings on what culturally-respectful distance education with, and for, Alaska Native people might look and feel like List a variety of research methodologies used to begin understanding what culturally-respectful distance education with, and for, Alaska Native people might look like and feel like

Keyword(s): Distance Education/Learning, Native Americans

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked with the project team on cancer education with, and for, Alaska's community health aides since 2008. My scientific interests include social determinants of health and culturally appropriate approaches to wellness.
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.