Abstract MP33: The Deaf Weight Wise Study: A Unique Clinical Trial of Health Behavior Modification with Deaf Adults
Introduction: Deaf people who use American Sign Language (ASL) comprise linguistic and cultural minority populations without access to language-concordant health information and healthcare. Deaf ASL users are rarely included in health research or public health surveillance. Recent research with Deaf ASL users found a higher prevalence of obesity than in the general population. No randomized trials of lifestyle modification or weight reduction have ever been attempted with Deaf ASL users.
Methods: We worked with the Rochester (NY) Deaf community to adapt a 16-week healthy lifestyle program previously shown to be effective with hearing people. We adapted the curriculum and research measures to be culturally and linguistically appropriate. We used a group intervention format recommended by our Deaf partners, and trained group leaders who were Deaf, ASL fluent and had backgrounds in counseling, public health, or healthcare. For this Deaf Weight Wise (DWW) trial, we recruited Deaf adults aged 40-70 with a BMI of 25-45 from community settings, and randomized participants to immediate intervention or intervention delayed 1 year. We will collect data from DWW trial participants over two years. We present analyses of data after 6 months here. Primary outcomes were changes in weight, BMI and scores on two standard measures: Dietary Risk Assessment (DRA) and Physical Activity Assessment (PAA). We used group by time repeated measures ANOVA to examine changes from baseline to 6 months for the immediate group and delayed group (no intervention yet).
Hypothesis: The immediate intervention group would have greater reduction in weight and BMI as well as improvement in DRA and PAA scores six months after baseline compared with the delayed intervention group.
Results: At baseline, the 104 participants’ mean age was 53.5 years; 68.3% (71 of 104) were female and 91.3% (95/104) were White. Randomization was successful based on baseline data. At 6 months, the immediate group weight changed -3.35kg (1.0 s.e.; p=.002) and BMI changed -1.35 (0.4 s.e.; p≤.0001) compared with the delayed group. Most of the immediate group (58.3%, 28/48) lost ≥ 5% of baseline weight versus 14.3% (8/56) of the delayed group (p≤.0001). Changes in mean DRA (p=.055) and moderate PAA (p=.054) scores numerically favored the immediate group.
Conclusions: Deaf Weight Wise is the first randomized controlled trial of a healthy lifestyle program with Deaf ASL users. This culturally appropriate and language accessible behavioral intervention was feasible and highly effective with this underserved and rarely studied population.
Author Disclosures: S. Barnett: None. E. Sutter: None. T. Pearson: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.