The development, implementation, and evaluation of a theory-based, culturally appropriate, web-based heart health program designed for South Asian American women
Shailaja B. Rao, Teachers College, Columbia University, United States
Teachers College, Columbia University . Awarded
The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate a culturally relevant, theory-based, community focused web based intervention aimed at reducing the risk of heart disease among South Asian women and their families (heart health pages on www.southasianhealth.org). The website focused on primary and secondary prevention of heart disease through education about a healthy South Asian diet, physical activity, as well as appropriate screening, diagnosis, and treatment. The development of the website was guided by several theories, while the content was informed by relevant literature as well as focus groups with the target population.
The objective of the study was to evaluate the impact of viewing the website on behaviors, specifically, planning to prepare healthier meals, selecting healthier options at a restaurant, choosing healthier foods at a grocery store, engaging in increased physical activity, and talking to a provider about risk of heart disease. A second study objective was to understand potential factors related to planned behavior change, including acculturation. Finally, a goal was to determine the most significant predictor of a positive website rating score. A convenience sample of 172 South Asian women spent time exploring heart health web pages and taking a survey. The most significant finding was that the majority of the women were in the maintenance stage of behavior for 4 of the 5 behaviors (with the exception of talking to a provider about risk of heart disease) before viewing the website. A t test was done to determine any significant difference in mean scores for 5 key behaviors, comparing mean scores for before and after viewing the website; selecting healthy options at a grocery (t=-3.295, df=171, p=.001) and talking to provider about risk of heart disease ( t=-8.770, df=171, p<.001) were the only behaviors found to change significantly. Results suggest a role for developing culturally relevant web-based health education interventions, given the positive impact of viewing website material on those who emerged prepared to change their behavior. Future studies should be conducted with a larger sample that is more representative of the diversity in the South Asian population.
Rao, S.B. The development, implementation, and evaluation of a theory-based, culturally appropriate, web-based heart health program designed for South Asian American women. Ph.D. thesis, Teachers College, Columbia University.
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