• The Future Is Now: Using Secure Tablet Technology to Promote Health Literacy and Self-Care for Incarcerated Persons

      Kouame, Gail; Johnson, J. Aaron; Robert B. Greenblatt, M.D. Library (Augusta University, 2018-11-19)
      Objective: To engage incarcerated individuals with health information and education to enhance their knowledge and use of health resources and services. Methods: A health sciences librarian and a Public Health Institute applied for an NLM Information Resources Grant to Reduce Health Disparities. The team was awarded funding to provide quality education to incarcerated persons through secure tablet computers. The tablets are currently deployed in 83 jails and prisons in 25 states, and are designed for self-guided learning experiences for low literacy individuals. Project leaders established agreements with five corrections facilities to use the tablets to conduct a health information needs assessment of individuals preparing for re-entry into the community. The study population includes both males and females. The results of the needs assessment informed the creation of health literacy training modules made available using the tablets. People incarcerated in the participating facilities consented to participate in the study to determine the impact of having access to the training modules. Results: Data from the needs assessment indicates that top places respondents seek health information are: the internet; a doctor or health care provider; or health web sites. When asked where they went first the last time they looked for health information, respondents stated they went to: the internet; the doctor or a health care provider; and health or medical organizations. They expressed interest in learning about health insurance issues. Other topics in which they expressed a desire to learn more include: understanding laboratory test results; getting help for addiction problems; and how to find a doctor or nurse. They indicated they would like to know how to take better care of themselves and manage health problems; how to improve eating habits and nutrition; and how to find help to prevent health problems and illnesses. Preliminary data from pre- and post-intervention will be presented.