Online professional development training for promotoras on lupus

Period of Performance: 07/01/2017 - 06/30/2018


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

KDH Research and Communication, Inc.
Principal Investigator


? DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant); KDH Research and Communication (KDHRC), with the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), will develop LLPI: Latinas con Lupus, Promotoras con Información (Latinas with Lupus, Promotoras with Information), a culturally competent, unique, online professional development course (course) to improve the ability of promotoras de salud (promotoras) to raise awareness of and conduct effective outreach to low-income Latinas about systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus). LLPI-trained promotoras will offer psychosocial support and practical assistance to low-income Latinas with diagnosed or suspected lupus by providing referrals, building health care navigation skills, and promoting self-advocacy. LLPI will be a six-module, bilingual course that uses both text and telenovela-style video. Promotoras will practice each module's skills with a virtual client modeled after virtual patients. All LLPI resources will be distributed online. ACR commits commercialization support to this project and will distribute LLPI through its Lupus Initiative, a national program that disseminates evidence-based resources to reduce lupus health disparities. LLPI's relevance and innovation stem from four factors. First, lupus disproportionately affects low-income Latinas. Second, promotoras are increasingly recognized as vital members of the health care workforce for underserved communities. The Affordable Care Act specifically enumerates promotoras' potential contributions to public health. Third, promotoras are professionalizing. To date, 15 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws addressing promotoras workforce development or financing and 19 states have existing certification and/or training programs. Fourth, online training is now widely used to train similar health care paraprofessionals with documented efficacy and cost-effectiveness. In Phase I, we will develop an architecture plan for the full six-module course and create a prototype of two full course modules with text, video storyboards, and rough-cut virtual client experiences. We will evaluate the prototype in a pretest/post-test control group study that examines the relationship between exposure to LLPI and increased knowledge about lupus, more positive attitudes and beliefs about community outreach on lupus, and greater self-efficacy to conduct effective outreach. In Phase II, we will finalize LLPI by filming the telenovela-style videos, programming the virtual client experiences, programming the entire course, creating the offline resources, and developing the LLPI dissemination website. We will then evaluate the entire LLPI course in a well-powered evaluation that explores the extent to which exposure to LLPI changes promotoras' knowledge, attitudes and beliefs, self-efficacy, and intentions to conduct effective outreach. LLPI will be th only program of its kind, and our market research suggests a significant need and eager market. ACR's commitment to LLPI's commercialization, plus letters of support from more than 38 organizations representing more 2,500 promotoras, substantiate LLPI's programmatic importance.