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Developing Geriatric and End-of-Life E-training For Inmate Peer Caregivers

Developing Geriatric and End-of-Life E-training For Inmate Peer Caregivers

Dr. Susan Loeb from Penn State University presented on the development of computer-based learning modules for caregivers of the aged and dying in prisons at the 11th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Health in Washington DC, December 3-5, 2018. This research is being conducted with Dr. Valerie Myers at Klein Buendel (KB), a co-author on the presentation.

The increasing numbers and complex needs of aged and dying inmates intensifies the burden of care and costs incurred by prisons. In an initial study (NR011874), best practices in the community were adapted in the Toolkit for Enhancing End-of-Life Care (EOL) in Prisons to train prison staff in EOL care. The print-based Toolkit was well received; however, not well suited for dissemination and lacked geriatric content. The Toolkit was transformed and expanded into Enhancing Care of the Aged and Dying in Prisons (ECAD-P) computer-based learning (CBL) modules in a second study (AG049570). ECAD-P development revealed the need to develop e-training for inmates to assist staff as caregivers for aged and dying inmates.

The purpose of the third study, which was presented at the D&I Conference, is to transform best practices in inmate peer caregiving into a comprehensive training program  that consists of media-rich and interactive computer-based learning modules for providing geriatric and EOL care to peers (i.e., prisoner to prisoner). Focus groups with inmate caregivers, prison staff, and training staff were conducted to determine a menu of CBL modules. An Advisory Board of experts in EOL care, geriatrics, ethics, and corrections health informed the selection of modules for development. Usability testing will soon be conducted in one men’s and one women’s prison with inmates who are experienced in providing mental health peer support, but have not been caregivers for their aged and dying peers. Focus group data will be analyzed using thematic analysis. Usability data will be analyzed using descriptive statistics and content analysis. Data are currently being collected. Analysis will be complete in October and the presentation completed by November.

The Prisoner to Prisoner (P2P) project allows the creation of innovative technology while being mindful of security and safety concerns regarding prisoners. Expanded testing of the P2P product will optimize the scalable unit for broader dissemination, establish the effectiveness of the training, provide critical insights relevant to dissemination of the commercial product, and position the research team to study broad dissemination and implementation outcomes.

This research was funded by a Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant to KB from the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health (AG057239; Dr. Susan Loeb, Principal Investigator) and Dr. Valerie Myers, Co-Investigator. Additional collaborators on the work presented at the conference include Dr. Erin Kitt-Lewis and Dr. Rachel Wion from the Penn State University College of Nursing, and Tiffany Jerrod and Morgan Carter from KB. The technology is being developed by the KB Creative Team.