Deaf Weight Wise (2009-2014)

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An Update on Deaf Weight Wise

Deaf Weight Wise - 104 people are enrolled!

The Deaf Weight Wise (DWW) research program has successfully enrolled 104 participants! The RPRC:NCDHR research team would like to thank everyone who signed up to join DWW. Your interest and motivation will help us learn more about the DWW 16-week healthy lifestyle group program. The RPRC:NCDHR team would also like to thank all the community organizations and clubs around Rochester that helped to support DWW recruitment events. We are thankful that you helped us spread the word about this important research.

At the end of the research program, RPRC:NCDHR will share the results with the Rochester Deaf community. We look forward to your participation in community meetings to help the RPRC:NCDHR research team understand how the results of DWW will impact the Deaf community. Stay tuned!

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General Information

DWW flyerDeaf Weight Wise is one of the core research projects occurring in RPRC:NCDHR. The overall goal of the DWW research study is to establish the effectiveness of an intervention to reduce weight gain and obesity in Deaf people who use American Sign Language (ASL) as their primary language.

Beginning in the fall of 2011, RPRC:NCDHR began testing whether an evidence-based program would be effective in changing obesity-related health behaviors in Deaf adults aged 40-70. Deaf Weight Wise is adapted from the Weight-Wise Program, developed by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, another CDC Prevention Research Center (PRC).

All phases of this study will be carried out through active partnership with the Rochester Deaf Community. To our knowledge, this is the first randomized control trial of a healthy lifestyle intervention to be conducted in a Deaf population.

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Study Design

Participants in the DWW research study will be randomly assigned 1 of 2 intervention groups. The first group received the intervention in Spring 2012, and the second group will receive the intervention in Spring 2013. The intervention is a 16-week healthy lifestyle program. Each week for 16 weeks, participants will attend group meetings with 10-12 other deaf people. Thy will learn about healthy living, healthy food choices and cooking, and fun ways to be physically active. All groups will be led by a deaf counselor. Counselors will emphasize daily self-monitoring of food intake, number of fruit and vegetable servings, calorie intake, and minutes of physical activity. Participants will also be asked to visit RPRC:NCDHR 5 times to take ASL health surveys and have physical measurements taken (height, weight, blood pressure, blood sample, etc).

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Research methods and materials have been developed to collect accurate and culturally appropriate health information from research participants. The Weight-Wise Program developed by the North Carolina PRC Program will be translated and adapted for use with Deaf people in the DWW research study. Deaf participants will be recruited and will provide informed consent for participation in this clinical trial.

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Data Collection

Health information including diet, physical activity, and heath behaviors will be collected using sign language-video surveys, like the Deaf Health Survey. This information will be collected at baseline/enrollment, 6 months, 12 months, and 18 months, and 24 months. Study data will be analyzed to test hypotheses. Community members will be involved in the data interpretation process.

Historically, Deaf populations have had very limited access to health research opportunities like Deaf Weight Wise. At the end of the study many culturally appropriate intervention tools will be developed for dissemination, and substantially more information on health behaviors will be available to improve the health of Deaf people and their families.

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Pollard RQ, Dean RK, O'Hearn A, Haynes SL. Adapting health education materials for deaf audiences (Pub Med Citation). Rehabilitation Psychology 2009; 54(2): 232-238.

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Lowenstein L, DeWindt L, Sutter E, Barnett S, Pearson TA. Community engagement necessary for recruitment into a novel randomized controlled lifestyle intervention trial with deaf adults. Presented at the American Heart Association EPINPAM Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA; 2013.

Mowl C, O'Hearn A, Panko T, Sutter E, and Barnett S. Collecting research data from deaf ASL users: How do we know we're asking the right questions? (Abstract) Presented at the APHA 139th Annual Meeting, Washington DC; 2011, November 2.

Thew D, Starr M, DeAndrea-Lazarus I, Gahagan K, Evanstad C, Kushalnagar P, and Chin N. Tailoring a healthy living intervention to deaf adults: Sociocultural data from the target group. (Abstract) Presented at the APHA 139th Annual Meeting, Washington DC; 2011, October 31.

Panko T, Starr M. Using video blogs as a community engagement tool to overcome research knowledge gaps in deaf communities (Abstract). Presented at the APHA 139th Annual Meeting, Washington DC; 2011, October 31.

Mowl C, Panko T, Kelstone K, Barnett S, Pearson T, and the Research Committee of the National Center for Deaf Health Research (2011). Design of Deaf Weight Wise: A healthy lifestyle intervention for Deaf adults. CDC Prevention Research Centers Program Annual Conference, Atlanta (April 12 & 13)

Reid JT, Starr MJ, Barnett S (2011). Adapting public heath interventions for use with a new community: Experiences working with deaf adult sign language users. CDC Prevention Research Centers Program Annual Conference, Atlanta (April 13)

Obesity and Your Health: The Deaf Weight-Wise Research Study (Slides)

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UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention:

Weight-Wise Program (UNC of Chapel Hill)

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Research Opportunities

Deaf Health Survey 2013

Thermometer DHS 2013

To learn more about the Deaf Health Survey 2013, click here.

To sign up for this survey, email Kelly Matthews.