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Efficacy of a Train-the-Trainer Program on Caregivers’ Health Status, Perceptions, and Behavior


Beth Marks, RN, PhD, Jasmina Sisirak, MPH, & Tamar Heller, PhD

Abstract


Aim:
Staff in community-based agencies (CBAs) serving adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) are increasingly required to implement health promotion programs for persons with I/DD. Creating sustainable programs requires an understanding of staff’s health status, behaviors, perceptions, and needs as they mentor and support adults with I/DD.

Method:
Forty staff participants, (87% females, 13% males, M age = 45.5 years) were randomized into an intervention (n = 17) or control group (n = 13) and given 8 hours of training to implement a 12-week physical activity and health education program personalized to their clients' with I/DD. Assessments, done before and after the 12-week program, included demographics, health status and behaviors, energy, exercise outcome expectations and barriers, and self-efficacy to perform exercise.

Results:
Compared to controls, the intervention group showed significant changes in psychosocial health status, including an increase in vitality, energy, and less fatigue (F = 4.75, p = .036), psychological well being ((F = 4.75, p = .036), less perceived pain (F = 3.4, p = .07), and increased exercise outcome expectations (F = 11.5, p = .002).

Conclusions:
Results suggest a need for research to assess the efficacy of worksite health promotion programs and policies in CBAs.