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A Computer-Based Interactive Multimedia Program to Reduce HIV Transmission for Women with Intellectual Disability

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Journal of Intellectual Disability Research Volume 56, Number 4, ISSN 0964-2633


Background: Despite recent recognition of the need for preventive sexual health materials for people with intellectual disability (ID), there have been remarkably few health-based interventions designed for people with mild to moderate ID. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a computer-based interactive multimedia (CBIM) program to teach HIV/AIDS knowledge, skills and decision making. Methods: Twenty-five women with mild to moderate ID evaluated the program. The study used a quasi-experimental within-subjects design to assess the efficacy of the CBIM program. Research participants completed five qualitative and quantitative instruments that assessed HIV knowledge, and decision-making skills regarding HIV prevention practices and condom application skills (i.e. demonstration of skills opening a condom and putting it on a model penis). In addition, 18 service providers who work with women with ID reviewed the program and completed a demographics questionnaire and a professional customer satisfaction survey. Results: Women with ID showed statistically significant increases from pre-test to post-test in all knowledge and skill domains. Furthermore, the statistical gains were accompanied by medium to large effect sizes. Overall, service providers rated the program highly on several outcome measures (stimulation, relevance and usability). Conclusions: The results of this study indicate the CBIM program was effective in increasing HIV/AIDS knowledge and skills among women with ID, who live both semi-independently and independently, in a single-session intervention. As the CBIM program is not dependent on staff for instructional delivery, it is a highly efficient teaching tool; and CBIM is an efficacious means to provide behavioural health content, compensating for the dearth of available health promotion materials for people with ID. As such, it has a potential for broad distribution and implementation by medical practitioners, and public health offices. People with ID are part of our society, yet continue to be overlooked, particularly in the area of health promotion. Special tools need to be developed in order to address the health disparities experienced by people with ID.


Wells, J., Clark, K.D. & Sarno, K. (2012). A Computer-Based Interactive Multimedia Program to Reduce HIV Transmission for Women with Intellectual Disability. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 56(4), 371-381. Retrieved June 16, 2019 from .

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