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Efficacy of a Food Safety Comic Book on Knowledge and Self-Reported Behavior for Persons Living with AIDS

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posted on 09.01.2014, 00:00 by Mark S. Dworkin, Caryn E. Peterson, Weihua Gao, Angel Mayor, Robert Hunter, Edna Negron, Alison Fleury, C. Lynn Besch
INTRODUCTION: Persons living with AIDS are highly vulnerable to foodborne enteric infections with the potential for substantial morbidity and mortality. Educational materials about foodborne enteric infections intended for this immunocompromised population have not been assessed for their efficacy in improving knowledge or encouraging behavior change. METHODS/RESULTS: AIDS patients in four healthcare facilities in Chicago, New Orleans, and Puerto Rico were recruited using fliers and word of mouth to healthcare providers. Those who contacted research staff were interviewed to determine food safety knowledge gaps and risky behaviors. A food safety educational comic book that targeted knowledge gaps was created, piloted, and provided to these patients who were instructed to read it and return at least 2 weeks later for a follow-up interview. The overall food safety score was determined by the number of the 26 knowledge/belief/behavior questions from the survey answered correctly. Among 150 patients who participated in both the baseline and follow-up questionnaire, the intervention resulted in a substantial increase in the food safety score (baseline 59%, post-intervention 81%, p<0.001). The intervention produced a significant increase in all the food safety knowledge, belief, and behavior items that comprised the food safety score. Many of these increases were from baseline knowledge below 80 percent to well above 90%. Most (85%) of the patients stated they made a change to their behavior since receiving the educational booklet. CONCLUSION: This comic book format intervention to educate persons living with AIDS was highly effective. Future studies should examine to what extent long-term behavioral changes result.

Funding

This project was supported by an award from the United States Department of Agriculture, Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, National Integrated Food Safety Initiative Program (Award No. 2009-51110-20173).

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Publisher Statement

© 2013 Dworkin et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Publisher

Public Library of Science

Language

en_US

issn

1932-6203

Issue date

01/10/2013

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