Potential Paradoxical Effects of Myth-Busting as a Nutrition Education Strategy for Older Adults
Authors: Ansburg, Pamela I.; Heiss, Cynthia J.
Source: American Journal of Health Education, 1 January 2012, vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 31-37(7)
Abstract:Medical myth-busting is a common health education strategy during which a health educator highlights common misconceptions about health and then presents evidence to refute those misconceptions. Whereas this strategy can be an effective way to correct faulty health beliefs held by young adults, research from the field of cognitive psychology suggests that normal age-related changes in cognition may diminish the educational efficacy of medical myth-busting for older adults. In the coming years, health educators are going to have increasing numbers of older adult clients. Although health educators are often trained to understand how age-related disease processes affect older adult clients' ability to learn and remember, currently there is little emphasis placed on teaching health educators how normal aging impacts their clients' cognition. We hope that by detailing how normal cognitive aging can reduce the efficacy of a common patient education strategy, we motivate health educators to learn more about how their clients' normal age-related changes in cognition might demand modified educational approaches.
Document Type: Research Article