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Health Promot Pract. 2010 Mar;11(2):216-25. doi: 10.1177/1524839908318169. Epub 2008 May 19.

A qualitative evaluation of fire safety education programs for older adults.

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  • 1Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


This article presents a qualitative evaluation of six fire safety education programs for older adults delivered by public fire educators. Our main aims were to explore how these programs are implemented and to determine important factors that may lead to program success, from the perspectives of the public fire educators and the older adults. For each program, we interviewed the public fire educator(s), observed the program in action, and conducted focus groups with older adults attending the program. Analysis revealed three factors that were believed to facilitate program success (established relationships with the older adult community, rapport with older adult audiences, and presentation relevance) as well as three challenges (lack of a standardized curriculum and program implementation strategies, attendance difficulties, and physical limitations due to age). More fire safety education should be developed for older adult populations. For successful programs, public fire educators should address the specific needs of their local older adult community.

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