Investigating the enduring impact of a community-based health education program to promote African American elders' use of technology designed to support chronic disease self-management

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Abstract

Elders experience chronic disease disparities and barriers to access technology designed to support recommended self-management behaviors. Elders from racial minority groups are among those who experience particular disparities in chronic disease incidence, outcomes, and barriers to technology use. In order to investigate strategies to address barriers, the study team recruited elder African Americans with diabetes and young adults connected to the elders through naturally occurring familial or social networks. Participants attended a community-based health education session focused on enhancing self-efficacy for recommended self-management and using consumer-oriented technology accessible on their smartphones for self-management support. To assess enduring impact, the study team conducted a pilot study to investigate perceptions and use one month following the health education session. Both elders and young adults offered perspectives on what was effective in teaching elders how to use technology. Both age groups stressed that having patience was crucial, as is providing encouragement for the elders to try tasks on their own. Both elders and young adults also showed a statistically significant increase in aspirations to work together for additional intergenerational health and technology knowledge exchange. Several elder participants continued using technology that they first used during the session. This novel, pilot study describes how to promote self-management and technology use for individuals plagued by persistent chronic disease and technology use disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number70
JournalGeriatrics (Switzerland)
Volume3
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Aging
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Keywords

  • Community health informatics
  • Community-based health education
  • Community-based participatory research
  • Elder African Americans
  • Intergenerational technology knowledge transfer
  • Racial disparities
  • Technology for self-management

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