Poster

Category:
Health Disparities
Year:
2015
Title:
Educating Elderly African Americans to Restore Sound (EARS)
Presenter:
(School of Medicine (UMB) Gerontology Doctoral Student)
Authors:
Torain, Jamila (UMB SOM Gerontology), Brown, Jessica (UMB SOM Public Health), Resnick, Barbara (UMB SON Nursing), St. George, Diane Marie (UMB SOM Public Health)
Abstract:
Cultural sensitivity is being aware that cultural differences and similarities exist, and have an effect on values, learning, and behavior. Currently, there are a limited number of programs designed to educate elderly African Americans about age-related hearing loss. Findings reported are predominantly based on White samples. EARS was a culturally sensitive, age-related hearing loss educational program, developed to increase the awareness and knowledge of low-income (all sites were covered by the section 8 project-based subsidy) elderly African American residents of three senior housing complexes in Baltimore. The program included an interactive presentation of material, a Jeopardy-like game, a presentation on two programs that subsidize the cost of hearing aids, and a pre- and post-test. This program used relatable educational materials and employed program volunteers of similar cultural backgrounds and ethnicities. In spring 2014, a total of 54 residents participated in the one-day program. Participants were 96% elderly (65 and older) African Americans and 100% low-income. Knowledge gain was assessed by the percentage increase in number of hands raised for each question. There was a 68.5%, 14.8%, and 37% increase in number of hands raised for question topics signs of hearing loss, self-assessment, and plan to utilize services respectively. There was a 42.6%, 63%, and 63% increase in hands raised for plan to seek programs, dangers of hearing loss, and psychosocial effects respectively. Approximately 11% of residents (6/54) self-reported utilizing health services after the program. Culturally sensitive interventions may be effective in increasing knowledge in elderly African Americans with lower incomes.

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