Promotores de Salud: Educating Hispanic Communities on Heart-Healthy Living
Authors: Medina, Amanda; Balcázar, Héctor; Hollen, Mary Luna; Nkhoma, Ella; Soto Mas, Francisco
Source: American Journal of Health Education, 1 July 2007, vol. 38, no. 4, pp. 194-202(9)
Abstract: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. One strategy for preventing CVD is the use of community health workers (CHWs). A CHW is a member of the community who disseminates information, attempts to foster healthy behavior, and provides education, advice, social support, and assistance to the community. Although the efficacy of CHWs has been tested, few studies have examined their effectiveness in educating communities and facilitating behavior change. Purpose: This study explored whether trained CHWs can effectively deliver education on heart-healthy behaviors among Hispanics. Methods: Two group of participants received education programs delivered by CHWs, popularly known in the Hispanic community as promotores de salud. A pretest/post-test design was implemented to assess intervention effect. Analyses included sample t-test, chi-square (2), 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: Observed improvement in healthy behaviors in both participant groups strengthens the argument that the community health outreach promotores model may be effective and can be adapted to a variety of settings. Translation to Health Education Practice: The results of this study support the utilization of CHWs.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: July 1, 2007