Director, Institute of Public & Preventive Health Augusta University Augusta, Georgia
Objectives: 1) Deliver health education modules to justice-involved individuals currently incarcerated at project partner sites 2) Measure the impact that health information training has on the level of health literacy, the confidence to improve self-care management skills, and interactions with health care providers 3) Follow a sample of justice-involved individuals for 6 months after they are released to collect post-release outcomes
Methods: This presentation describes findings from an Information Resource Grant to Reduce Health Disparities project, funded by the National Library of Medicine. The project aims to engage justice-involved individuals with health education to enhance their knowledge and use of health services and resources. Project investigators developed a needs assessment tool, educational content, and pre- and post-intervention questionnaires based on those created for an earlier pilot project, and additionally informed by project investigators with input from a nationally recognized health literacy expert. The consent materials, needs assessment, health-related educational modules, as well as pre-and post-intervention questionnaires were made available to justice-involved individuals in ten participating correctional facilities using an existing, secure tablet-based system developed by Edovo. Reminder messages were also sent via the tablets to participating individuals who had accessed the educational content but had not yet completed the questionnaires.
Results: Over 3000 individuals accessed the educational content via the tablets and over 100 have completed the pre and post-intervention questionnaires. Significant findings include improvements in: searching for health information; understanding health status; engaging in preventive care; .knowing what questions to ask health care providers about diagnoses, treatment, medications, and self-care; and knowing when to seek medical care.
ConclusionsProviding health education modules paired with self-directed learning via secure tablets computers is an effective method for improving health literacy and self-care management for incarcerated persons.