Promotores de salud: educating Hispanic communities on heart-healthy living
Background: Age-adjusted cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality rates for Hispanics are lower than for non-Hispanics. However, CVD is the leading cause of death among Hispanics and there is an increasing heart-health problem among this population. A strategy for preventing CVD is the use of community health workers (CHWs). A CHW is someone who is a member of the community, disseminates information, attempts to influence healthy behavior, and provides education, advice, social support, and assistance to the community. Although the efficacy of CHWs has been tested in randomized controlled trials, few studies have looked at their effectiveness in educating communities and facilitating behavior change. Purpose: This study explored whether trained CHWs can effectively deliver an educational intervention on heart-healthy behaviors among Hispanics. Methods: Two group of participants received education programs delivered by promotores de salud. A pre-posttest design was implemented to assess intervention effect. Analyses included sample t-test, chi-square (χ2), and Mann-Whitney U Test. Results: The two groups differed in demographics and pre-existing risk factors (p < .05). Participants in both groups significantly improved their healthy behaviors (p < .01). Discussion: The results of this study support the utilization of CHWs.
Medina, Balcázar, Luna Hollen, Nkhoma and Francisco Soto Mas. "Promotores de salud: educating Hispanic communities on heart-healthy living" American Journal of Health Education (2007).
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/francisco_sotomas/26
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