The health status and health behaviors among support staff providing daily support for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD-SS) in community-based organizations (CBOs) have not been systematically studied. This study examined the health impact of IDD-SS workers who participated in a HealthMatters Program: Train-the-Trainer Certified Instructor Workshop followed by implementing a 12-week HealthMatters Program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) that they care for as part of their employment. A total of 48 IDD-SS were enrolled into either an intervention (n = 28) or control group (n = 20). IDD-SS in the intervention group received an 8-hour HealthMatters Program: Train-the-Trainer Workshop immediately prior to teaching a 12-week HealthMatters Program for people with IDD. Assessments were conducted with IDD-SS before and after completing the 12-week HealthMatters Program to evaluate whether IDD-SS experienced any benefit of the training and teaching the program on their own health and health behaviors. Relative to the control group, the IDD-SS in the intervention group showed significant improvements in social/environmental supports for nutrition (F = 4.92, p = .032), exercise outcome expectations (F = 6.58, p = .014), nutrition outcome expectations (F = 8.87, p = .005), fruit and vegetable intake (F = 13.62, p = .001), knowledge of fruit and vegetable intake recommendations (F = 11.25, p = .002), and stages of change for eating fruits and vegetables (F = 6.86, p = .012). Results demonstrated that IDD-SS benefited from the health education programming. Findings support the need to develop programs and organizational policies for health promotion activities for direct care staff.
Keywords: direct service providers; health behaviors; occupational health and safety programs; organizational culture/climate; staff health; worksite health promotion.