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J Health Commun. 2010;15 Suppl 3:46-59. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2010.525295.

HealthyME HealthyU(©2010UCPGB): a collaborative project to enhance access to health information and services for individuals with disabilities.

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  • 1Center for Educational Accountability, School of Education, College of Arts & Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1530 Third Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35294-1250, USA.


In response to the limited information about health information and training needs among persons with disabilities, a collaborative group of Alabama researchers, educators, and clinicians was formed to implement a statewide needs assessment with support provided by the Alabama Council for Developmental Disabilities and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. Educational and assessment activities were guided by the Systems Model of Clinical Preventive Care and Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) methodology. Four constructs from the 2007 HINTS Annotated Version were identified as relevant to the concepts of local interest. Results of printed and online surveys administered to 251 family and other caregivers, 87 individuals with disabilities, 110 clinical service providers, and 570 health professions students revealed outstanding health communication needs to improve access to reliable consumer information and clinical services. HealthyME HealthyU(©2010UCPGB) developed new educational materials that address issues identified from the needs assessment, specifically (a) accessibility of health care facilities; (b) patient-provider communication; (c) personal health management by consumers and families/caregivers; and (d) sources of trustworthy electronic health information. Six brief digital video training modules were developed for consumers, families, and professionals featuring as speakers health care providers, health professions students, and individuals with cognitive disabilities. Following field testing, video modules were revised and then widely distributed to consumers, family caregivers, and service providers. Preliminary evaluation indicates content is relevant and comprehensible to individuals with disabilities.

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