Session Title: Education/Community Programs
Session Type: Abstract Submissions (ARHP)
Background/Purpose: Chronic illnesses have emerged as major health concerns of Americans in recent decades. African Americans with lupus are at high risk for poor disease outcomes and may face challenges in effectively self-managing multiple health problems, particularly among patients of low income. The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) is a skill-building group-based, evidence-based intervention that improves the health of people with chronic illnesses. It is important to assess the perceptions of this program as success is regarded as dependent on its value to the targeted group. This study assessed the perceived acceptability, relevance and value of the program among a group of low-income African American (AA) female patients with lupus.
Methods: The CDSMP consisted of six weekly sessions led by two African American instructors and conducted in a small group (10-15 participants) workshop. Contents of the CDSMP are emotion and fatigue management, better communication, exercise, healthy eating, medication management, working with healthcare professionals, and cognitive techniques for relaxation and symptom management. Twenty-seven of the 45 study participants who completed the CDSMP workshops participated in 4 focus groups. A moderator led each focus group discussion using a guide. Participants’ perceptions on the acceptability to general elements and settings of the program, relevance of contents and tools of the CDSMP, and beneficial value of the intervention to participants’ disease experience were assessed. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the two CDSMP instructors to supplement findings from the focus groups.
Data Analysis: Audio recordings of the focus groups and instructor semi-structured interviews were transcribed verbatim and thematically analyzed. Three research coders independently reviewed and coded each transcript to identify common themes. Two or more quotes were used to develop a theme.
Results: Participants were empowered by the group and program environment. They had a positive experience and were accepting of the program’s locations and times. The program tools (CD on relaxation, textbook topics, action plan), as well as curricular contents were deemed as relevant and relatable to their disease experience. Participants felt empowered to use skills learned to make behavioral changes and manage their health. They valued the group peer interactions and relationships that were established. The instructors’ perspectives were consistent with the participants’ viewpoints.
Conclusion: This study suggests that the CDSMP was well received by low-income African American women with lupus. The education and social support provided as part of the program dynamics appear to be especially important for this targeted group. This overall acceptability was demonstrated through the expressed value and motivation in this sample. Further study is needed to examine long-term implications of participating in the CDSMP as an AA lupus patient, and the best community-based venues for implementation.
C. M. Dunlop-Thomas,
N. DeVeauuse Brown,
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ACR Meeting Abstracts - https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/perceptions-of-the-chronic-disease-self-management-program-among-low-income-african-american-women-with-lupus/