Abstract 3384: Effectiveness of the FAST Program Targeting African American Middle School Teachers
Significance and Purpose: During the school year, teachers interact with middle students almost half of their waking hours and have a unique opportunity to positively affect their own health as well as their students. The purpose of this pilot study performed in a predominantly African American middle school was to evaluate the effectiveness of the 3 month long FAST Stroke Education Program designed for teachers that used Social Cognitive Theory as the underlying framework. The program objectives were to: (1) increase the teachers’ knowledge of the major stroke risk factors, stroke warning signs, and treatment seeking behaviors (call 911); (2) improve the teachers self-efficacy related to improving one of their own modifiable stroke risk factors; and (3) achieve their self-identified goal to reduce a modifiable stroke risk factor.
Methodology: After obtaining consent, the teachers received a pretest survey that assessed their stroke knowledge and self-efficacy related to stroke. Following this pretest, the teachers received a 45 minute educational intervention that included interaction with a stroke survivor and taking an immediate posttest. As part of this session, the teachers also identified one personal objective for the next 3 months (i.e., exercise 30 minutes 3 times/day) and listed 2-3 feasible actions to achieve this objective. Six weeks later, they were mailed their objective, action plan, and stroke related educational materials in a self-addressed envelope. At three months, teachers received a long-term posttest that also determined if they had achieved their self-identified modifiable stroke risk factor.
Findings: The study’s convenience sample consisted of 29 full-time teachers who were mostly male (n = 18, 62%) and African American (n=19, 65.5%). Risk factor knowledge scores were significantly higher at immediate posttest than at pretest, t = 2.25, p = .03 and was maintained at 3 months. Regarding stroke warning signs, there was a significant difference between pretest and posttest with a t=2.52, p = .015,but this knowledge wasn’t maintained. Subjects improved and maintained their stroke self-efficacy from pretest to long-term posttest and 31% of the teachers achieved their health objective. Another 58.6% stated they made some progress in achieving their stroke reduction objective.
Conclusions and Practice Implications: Pilot results reveal some positive stroke outcomes involving middle school teachers. Additional refinements in the FAST program and educational strategies will occur to further enhance information retention and achievement of personal health outcomes prior to testing with a larger sample.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.