Share this article on:

The Impact of a Faculty Development Program in Health Literacy and Ethnogeriatrics

Evans, Kambria H. MEd; Bereknyei, Sylvia DrPH, MS; Yeo, Gwen PhD; Hikoyeda, Nancy DrPH, MPH; Tzuang, Marian MSW; Braddock, Clarence H. III MD, MPH

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000411
Innovation Reports

Problem: A faculty development curriculum aimed at increasing health literacy and awareness of patient care issues in ethnogeriatrics is essential to address serious deficiencies in faculty and health professionals’ training and to prepare future health care professionals to care for older adults.

Approach: Authors from the Stanford Geriatric Education Center developed and implemented a faculty development program in Health Literacy and Ethnogeriatrics (HLE). The goal was to enhance faculty and health professionals’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes in HLE-related areas (e.g., health disparities, low health literacy, quality of care for ethnically diverse elders, patient/provider communication). The curriculum was implemented during an intensive weeklong program over a three-year period (2008–2010). The eight-module core curriculum was presented in a train-the-trainer format, supplemented by daily resource sessions.

Outcomes: Thirty-four faculty participants from 11 disciplines, including medicine, came from 19 institutions in 12 states. The curriculum positively affected participants’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes related to topics in HLE. Participants rated the curriculum’s usefulness highly, and they reported that over 57% of the content was new. The HLE curriculum provided a mechanism to increase the self-assessed knowledge, skills, and attitudes of participants. It also fostered local curricular change: Over 91% of the participants have either disseminated the HLE curriculum through seminars conducted at their home sites or implemented HLE-related projects in their local communities, reaching diverse patient populations.

Next Steps: Next steps include measuring the impact on the participants’ teaching skills and at their home sites through their trainees and patients.

Mrs. Evans is program officer, Quality and Organizational Improvement, Department of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California.

Dr. Bereknyei is research associate, Stanford Center for Medical Education Research and Innovation, Department of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California.

Dr. Yeo is senior research scholar and director emerita, Stanford Geriatric Education Center, Department of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California.

Dr. Hikoyeda is associate director, Stanford Geriatric Education Center, Department of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California.

Mrs. Tzuang is program coordinator, Stanford Geriatric Education Center, Department of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California.

Dr. Braddock is vice dean for medical education, Department of the Dean, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California.

Funding/Support: Bureau of Health Professions of the Health Resources and Services Administration (D31HP08825).

Other disclosures: None reported.

Ethical approval: This study was determined exempt from human subjects research by the Stanford School of Medicine Institutional Review Board because it is considered program evaluation data for the Stanford Geriatric Education Center.

Previous presentations: Preliminary data from this study were presented at the Society for Applied Anthropology conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 2009.

Correspondence should be addressed to Mrs. Evans, Stanford University School of Medicine, 700 Welch Rd., Suite 310B, Palo Alto, CA 94304; telephone: (650) 725-8803; e-mail: khevans@stanford.edu.

© 2014 by the Association of American Medical Colleges