Discussion: Role Playing Chronic Disease Education

Discussion: Role Playing Chronic Disease Education
In the past, infectious diseases were the leading cause of death in the United States. Today, chronic diseases are the leading cause of illness, death, and health care spending. In this Discussion you explore the burden of one or more chronic diseases. You will have the opportunity to role play a health education scenario to practice your data evaluation, critical thinking, and communication skills. Your Instructor will divide the class into two groups. Be sure to ask if you do not see your group Assignments.

Role playing tips:

Start the conversation early enough to help your colleagues and have a rich Discussion.
Multiple individuals may discuss the same topic, but if there is already a good thread going about one topic (for example, diabetes in the health fair Discussion), perhaps another topic should be started to make the information more interesting and expansive. This will allow others to respond and add to the experience and information.
Keep in mind that if you enter into an ongoing Discussion, you should be adding value (e.g., new information, new questions, etc.). If you do not have additional new information or questions, see what other threads were started and consider starting and/or participating in a new Discussion instead.
Do try to maintain a cohesive and full conversation until a logical conclusion appears to be reached. Try not to leave your colleagues hanging without answers to their questions.
If you are in the role of asking questions and you are not able to engage someone in your topic despite well-crafted questions, try a different topic or participate in an existing conversation.
If you are in the role of answering questions, try to respond to people who have not yet had a response, in order to broaden the array of information that can be discussed.
The goal is to learn how to research these topics, decide what information and data sources are most valid for the situation, and practice thinking critically and supporting what you say. Have fun!

Discussion Topic A                                                                                                                      Discussion Topic B
Health Fair Attendee                                                                                            Health Department Employee

Discussion A: Health Fair
A health fair is an event designed to outreach to, and educate, a population about health and wellness. These day-long events are typically advertised in the media. Health fairs often incorporate some medical screening for various diseases and conditions as well as education on prevention. Health fairs are usually organized and staffed by public health professionals and clinicians, and may take place in a variety of sites including a community center, churches, workplaces, and schools.

Group 1: Health Fair Attendee
You are a participant in a health fair who is seeking advice about prevention or control of a chronic disease. Please choose from the following chronic conditions: hypertension, atherosclerosis, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, asthma, or osteoporosis. You need to start the conversation with a Group 2 educator by stating what disease you are asking about and providing any pertinent information to the question (such as, your age, gender, etc.). Are you concerned about disease management, or are you concerned about prevention? Review the Group 2 educator responses to your questions. Ask clarifying questions of the Group 2 educator for any areas that may be unclear. Explain how the information provided by the Group 2 educator will be useful to you if you were to control this chronic condition. Make sure that you receive good, understandable resources to further your knowledge about the condition. Your goal is to challenge the educators to provide clear, accurate, and useful information.

Discussion B: Health Department
Group 1: Health Department Employee
You work in a health department, and you have been given some resources to allocate to one chronic disease. You need to decide which chronic disease is best to focus on, and why. Role play the employee and explain to the Group 1 supervisors which disease you have chosen and what aspect of that disease you will target for prevention or control, and why. Some things you may consider as you discuss this topic with a Group 2 supervisor: What are the best data sources to use for your own understanding of the disease? What is the most effective data to support your choice to your supervisor? Did you consider how one chronic disease may affect another? How can you focus in on a broad topic and assure your target population for this disease can get the most benefit from the limited resources? Did you clearly answer the Group 2 supervisor’s questions? Your goal is to evaluate the sources available, make a supportable choice, accurately interpret the data from those sources, recognize the various challenges in “doing more with less,” and provide clear and accurate information that you can validate