This article was originally published here
J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2021 Oct 13. doi: 10.1007/s40615-021-01165-7. Online ahead of print.
African Americans experience a significantly greater burden of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) compared to non-Hispanic White Americans. Raising awareness and increasing knowledge of AD within African American communities is an important step towards addressing these disparities. The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of two approaches to sharing AD knowledge with community residents. Using a quasi-experimental design, African American participants were recruited through community partners and local resources in two comparable neighborhoods in Duval County, Florida, which formed the intervention and the comparison groups for this study. The identical 40-min educational lecture was provided to both groups. In the intervention community, the lecture was followed by focus group sessions modeled after the Dementia Friendly America toolkit. In the comparison community, the lecture was followed by a social event where participants could interact informally with the speaker and dementia outreach staff. A brief quantitative survey assessing AD knowledge was administered to participants in both groups before the education session, immediately after the lecture, and 2 months later. Results indicate that both groups improved their knowledge scores at immediate post-test. Scores for both groups declined at 2-month follow-up, but the comparison group’s scores declined more precipitously than the intervention group’s scores (p = 0.0.21). These results suggest that conducting focus groups and interviews following a lecture on AD may help better retain AD knowledge over time.