Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Health Services


Andrea Jennings-Sanders


Nurses can play integral role in collaborating with community leaders and identifying health promotion strategies, such as physical activity and nutrition classes, for people with developmental disabilities (DD). This study identified a role that nurses can establish among Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) who serve important functions in the daily supervision and care of clients with DD. The data reviews from the archival results from Association of Individual Development Health Matters Assessment Reports in August 2012 and September 2013 indicated DSPs' need for further training in their roles as health instructors. The Health Matters Assessment Report in 2012 indicated low scores in employees' confidence in terms of planning health education classes (20.8%), running a health promotion program (22.7%), evaluating health functions and behavior for people with DD (19.3%), teaching clients with DD how to exercise (26.7%), and making healthy food choices (25%). The Health Matters Assessment Report in 2013 indicated poor attendance to Health Matters Class training (20%) and reduced attendance to Health Matters Class launch events (34%). This study proposed a Train-the-Trainer education program to help DSPs prepare as health instructors of Health Matters Class. The education program can establish effective partnerships between nurses and can promote peer-to-peer support while increasing DSPs' knowledge, skills, and commitment as health instructors. This study can benefit nurses, researchers, and community workers involved in providing care to clients with DD. The findings of this study can provide direction for further research in the advocacies of health promotion programs among clients with DD in the community.

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Nursing Commons