Culturally-Tailored Education Programs to Address Health Literacy Deficits and Pervasive Health Disparities among Hispanics in Rural Shelbyville, Kentucky
- *Corresponding Author:
- Irma N Ramos, M.D
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
School of Public Health and Information Sciences
University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40202, USA
Received date: September 18, 2013; Accepted date: November 14, 2013; Published date: November 16, 2013
Citation: Ramos IN, Ramos KS, Boerner A, He Q, Tavera-Garcia MA (2013) Culturally-Tailored Education Programs to Address Health Literacy Deficits and Pervasive Health Disparities among Hispanics in Rural Shelbyville, Kentucky. J Community Med Health Educ 3:250. doi: 10.4172/2161-0711.1000250
Copyright: © 2013 Ramos IN, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Objectives: This investigation was conducted to evaluate the impact of culturally-tailored education on health knowledge among Hispanic residents of rural, Shelbyville, KY. Design: The program identified specific pathways to address health literacy deficits and disparities identified through a community-wide health assessment completed in 2010. Results: A total of 43 Hispanic males who shared deficiencies in community-wide health infrastructure were enrolled in the program. The curriculum included an introductory session followed by five, subject-specific, sessions offered on a weekly basis from February to April 2011. Pre/post-test assessments showed marked improvement in knowledge base for all participants after each session, most notably related to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. The group reconvened in January 2012 for follow-up instruction on cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as well as global assessment of knowledge retention over a nine-month period. Comparisons of pre/post testing in cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as well as global health-related knowledge showed significant gains for all parameters. Conclusions: Health education programs that embrace perceptions of the community of their own health, and that integrate knowledge into culturally-sensitive education, significantly improved health knowledge among Hispanic residents in rural Kentucky. Such gains may translate into sustainable improvements in health literacy and help reduce health disparities.