The Efficacy of a Health Promotion Train the Trainer Program: Lessons Learned to Improve Health Among People with Intellectual Disabilities


Marks, B. & Sisirak, J. (July 15th, 2010). The Efficacy of a Health Promotion Train the Trainer Program: Lessons Learned to Improve Health Among People with Intellectual Disabilities. 20th IUHPE World Conference on Health Promotion, Geneva, Switzerland.

Abstract


Aim:
This study examines the effectiveness of a Train-the-Trainer intervention using an evidence-based health promotion curriculum for implementing a community-based physical activity and nutrition health promotion program to improve health and well-being of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). While data support the benefits of physical activity and nutrition programs for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in laboratory/University-based settings, little research is available on ways to enhance health status, increase physical activity, and improve food choices in settings in which people work and live.

Methods:
Thirty-two staff in community-based organizations (CBOs) were given 8 hours of training to start and implement a 12-week physical activity and health education program personalized to the needs of their clients' with I/DD. Participants with I/DD, including 44 adults with ages 30 years and older (31females, 21 males, M age = 42.2 years) were randomized into an intervention (n = 32) or control group (n = 20). The intervention group participated in a 12-week, 3 days per week, exercise and health education program. Assessments were conducted immediately before and after the program.

Results:
Compared to controls, intervention group showed significant changes in psychosocial health status, including more energy, increased self-efficacy, and increased social/ environmental health. The intervention group also demonstrated greater flexibility and improved blood cholesterol levels. Although not significant, intervention group participants had increased self-rated general health status, higher life satisfaction (health and wellness subscale), less barriers to exercise, and greater exercise outcome expectations following the 12-week program.

Conclusion:
Results suggest the efficacy of a train-the-trainer program for staff in CBOs to implement a health promotion program aimed at teaching and supporting adults with I/DD to be more physically active and improve their physical and psychosocial health status.

Learning Objectives:
  • Identify the need for staff education in community-based organizations (CBOs) to implement exercise and nutrition health promotion programs for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).
  • Discuss a train-the-trainer intervention program using an evidence-based health promotion curriculum for staff and adults with I/DD in CBOs.
  • Evaluate the impact of a train-the-trainer program on health and well-being of adults with I/DD.