Background A community-university partnership was developed to address lupus disparities in the Hispanic/Latino Chicagoland community. Lupus significantly impacts Latinos due to lack of early detection, diagnosis, and care. A curriculum was created to educate Popular Opinion Leaders (POLs) as leaders who then provide lupus education to the community. POLs were trained in three local communities; the POL groups consisted of 1) High School Students, 2) Community Health Workers, and 3) Parent Leaders. Our goal was to pilot test this education program across different age groups and literacy levels as a prelude to field work increasing lupus awareness in the targeted communities.
Materials and methods To measure knowledge acquisition of the newly trained POLs, pre- and post-test questionnaires were administered over four sessions. Questionnaires were designed with a health literacy expert for content, clarity and literacy level. As part of the assessment, we also analysed the following demographic and acculturation variables: birthplace (Mexico/U.S./Other); # of years in the US; strong sense of belonging to an ethnic group (4-point scale) and the following lupus knowledge variables: lupus is a chronic disease (Yes/No/don’t know); there is a cure for lupus (Yes/No/don’t know); and which symptom is not a lupus symptom (choose from a list). Demographic and acculturation characteristics and knowledge responses pre- and post-test responses were summarised by community using descriptive statistics.
Results We trained community health workers from Erie Neighbourhood House (n = 14), high school students from Cicero (n = 14) and parent leaders from Burbank (n = 28). Participant characteristics and knowledge gain are shown in Table 1.
Conclusions Overall, there was evidence to support lupus knowledge improvement after the completion of POL educational sessions. We encountered some difficulties in performing this evaluation due language difficulty not only limited to literacy level but also in interpretation of questions and bilingual interpreters were needed to assist POL assessments. The next phase is to document the community contacts reached by POLs in the field using Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping.
Acknowledgements This project is supported by grant #CPIMP151087-0100 from the Office of Minority Heath in the US Department of Health and Human Services.
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