Incorporates: Asian Libraries
Online from: 1898
Subject Area: Library and Information Studies
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|Title:||Senior CHAT: a model for health literacy instruction|
|Author(s):||Mary Lou Strong, (Sims Memorial Library, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, Louisiana, USA), Ladonna Guillot, (Baton Rouge Nursing Library, Southeastern Louisiana University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA), Jean Badeau, (Sims Memorial Library, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, Louisiana, USA)|
|Citation:||Mary Lou Strong, Ladonna Guillot, Jean Badeau, (2012) "Senior CHAT: a model for health literacy instruction", New Library World, Vol. 113 Iss: 5/6, pp.249 - 261|
|Keywords:||Academic libraries, Community outreach, Computer instruction, Computer studies, Elderly people, Health literacy, Senior citizens, United States of America|
|Article type:||Case study|
|DOI:||10.1108/03074801211226337 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
|Acknowledgements:||This project was funded by a 2010/2011 Express Consumer Health Outreach Award from the National Network/Libraries of Medicine South Central Region.|
Purpose – Senior CHAT (Consumer Health Awareness Training) improved health information literacy and promoted better health outcomes through basic computer instruction among senior citizens in a healthcare impoverished Louisiana parish. Librarians at a state university in southeast Louisiana partnered with senior citizen centers to promote National Library of Medicine databases in a project funded by National Network/Libraries of Medicine/South Central Region. This paper seeks to describe and discuss this initiative.
Design/methodology/approach – Librarians responded to a community assessment demonstrating the need for basic computer instruction and increased health information literacy among the 1,800 clients served by the Tangipahoa Voluntary Council on Aging (TVCOA). Senior CHAT included two series of hands-on classes with 25 students. Seniors were instructed in the use of MedlinePlus and NIHSeniorHealth databases. TVCOA staff were trained to continue to assist seniors after the project's completion. A Senior Citizen Consumer Health LibGuide was created and is a project legacy. Participants also created updatable portable personal health profiles.
Findings – Pre- and post-instruction surveys suggest seniors increased usage of the databases post-instruction. Over 70 percent of senior participants were able to create a personal health profile.
Social implications – The elderly are at risk of poor health literacy. As the USA moves to a consumer-centric health care system, these individuals need technology skills to take an active role in health care-related decisions.
Originality/value – The project promoted lifelong learning in the region and forged new community partnerships. Its value lies in its reproducibility in a variety of community settings and its alignment with US Healthy People 2020 initiatives.
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