Disability Within US Public Health School and Program Curricula.


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Abstract

OBJECTIVETo describe the percentage of US public health schools and programs offering graduate-level courses with disability content as a potential baseline measurement for Healthy People 2020 objective DH-3 and compare the percentage of public health schools that offered disability coursework in 1999 with those in 2011.METHODSIn 2011, using SurveyMonkey.com, cross-sectional information was collected from the deans, associate deans, directors, or chairpersons of master of public health-granting public health schools and programs that were accredited and listed with the Council on Education for Public Health. Two rounds of follow-up were conducted at 4-month intervals by e-mails and phone calls to program contacts who had not responded. The responses from schools and programs were calculated and compared.RESULTSThere were 78 responses (34 schools and 44 programs) for a response rate of 63%. Fifty percent of public health schools and programs offered some disability content within their graduate-level courses. A greater percentage of schools than programs (71% vs 34%; P = .003) offered some graduate-level disability coursework within their curricula. The percentage of schools that offered disability coursework was similar in 1999 and 2011.CONCLUSIONSThis assessment provides a potential baseline measurement for Healthy People 2020 objective DH-3. Future assessments should focus on clarifying disability content within courses and identifying capacity to offering disability training within public health schools and programs.

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