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Hearing Health Training Builds Capacity for Community Health Workers in the U.S.

Community Health Workers are lay public health care workers who provide culturally-appropriate health education and health promotion to low-resource populations. In addition, Community Health Workers reduce barriers to care for individuals by informing clients about health services in the community, motivating clients to access care, and advocate to improve health in their communities. Given their longstanding role in public health, this workforce shows potential for promoting hearing health among low-resource communities (Marrone et al., 2017). In the U.S., Community Health Workers have been underutilized as partners in hearing health care. Educational workshops can help increase Community Health Workers' knowledge of hearing health and improve their capacity for connecting community members with hearing health care services (Sánchez et al., 2017). We present an educational workshop aimed at improving knowledge and awareness on hearing loss as well as skills in effective communication for Community Health Workers. The curriculum incorporates experiential skills-based learning, as well as behavior change and motivational interviewing techniques. Results are presented from two workshops conducted in English and Spanish in the U.S. The first workshop was held in October 2016. Results of pre/post questionnaires revealed that all participants (n=7) correctly reported signs and symptoms of hearing loss following the workshop. In addition, participants increased their confidence in connecting clients with services following the workshop. The second workshop was held in June 2017 and included 78 Community Health Workers. Pre-test results revealed that half of participants were confident that they could connect clients with hearing health care services. Following the workshop, nearly all of the participants reported they were confident providing hearing health care service connection. Future research will include larger populations of Community Health Workers and will evaluate long-term outcomes.

  • Describe the components of a hearing health education workshop aimed at Community Health Workers in the U.S.
  • Describe the potential role of Community Health Workers in hearing health promotion in the U.S.
  • Explain how hearing health trainings for Community Health Workers may translate to improved access to hearing health care for low-resource populations.

Presentation:
18607_9926LauraCoco.pdf

Handouts:
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Laura Coco (POC,Primary Presenter), University of Arizona, lauracoco@email.arizona.edu;
Laura Coco, Au.D., is a PhD student in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at the University of Arizona. Her research interests include improving access to and increasing the use of hearing health care services for older adults. Dr. Coco received her Au.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was involved in research on teleaudiology and inter-professional education. Currently, at the University of Arizona, her research involves community-based rehabilitation and teleaudiology as methods for improving access to hearing health care for older adults in rural and under-resourced areas.

      ASHA DISCLOSURE:

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exists.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.


      AAA DISCLOSURE:

Financial - Receives support from National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders of the National Institutes of Health under award number R21/R33 DC013681, the US-Mexico Border Health Commission, and the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under grant number U1QHP28721. .  

Rachel Peterson (Author,Co-Author), University of Arizona Center on Aging, Rpeterson@aging.arizona.edu ;
Rachel Peterson, MPH, MA, is a PhD student in Health Promotion Sciences at the University of Arizona and a Health Educator with the University of Arizona Center on Aging. She has more than a decade of applied public health experience working with diverse populations that has included providing health education in Swaziland, developing a Community Health Worker program in the Dominican Republic, advocating for tobacco prevention policies in Oregon (United States), and implementing substance abuse and suicide prevention programs with Native American tribes in Arizona (United States). Her research interests are in ageism, social disparities in aging, and creating the social and structural conditions to promote health and wellbeing across the life course, especially in rural, minority and low-income communities.
      ASHA DISCLOSURE:

Financial -

Nonfinancial -


      AAA DISCLOSURE:

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exists.

Nicole Marrone (Author,Co-Author), University of Arizona Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, nmarrone@email.arizona.edu;
Nicole Marrone, PhD, CCC-A holds the James S. and Dyan Pignatelli/Unisource Clinical Chair in Audiologic Rehabilitation for Adults at the University of Arizona and is an Assistant Professor of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. Her research investigates hearing loss and rehabilitation in adults. Her specialty is how interventions, including hearing aids and group audiologic rehabilitation, can improve people’s quality of life and communication in everyday environments. Part of Dr. Marrone’s research focuses on increasing access to hearing healthcare in rural communities. This interdisciplinary work is in collaboration with faculty in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, as well as with community health providers at the Mariposa Community Health Center in Nogales, Arizona. Dr. Marrone and her collaborators were recently awarded a phased innovation grant (R21/R33) from NIH/NIDCD for this work: “Reducing Disparities in Access to Hearing Healthcare on the U.S.-Mexico Border”.
      ASHA DISCLOSURE:

Financial -

Nonfinancial -


      AAA DISCLOSURE:

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exists.