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Reaching Out to America's Immigrants: Community Health Advisors and Health Communication

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Purpose: To describe clinical services and health communication needs for recent immigrants. Methods: A review of relevant health behavior and policy research published in the past 20 years was conducted. Results: Health coverage for primary care, prenatal and safety net services needs to be continued for all immigrants. Legislative bodies should repeal those aspects of welfare reform laws that diminish funding for health programs. English training provides efficient and effective access to health care and health communication. Finally, health communication messages mediated by community health advisors constitute an effective alternative to mainstream health communication. Conclusions: Societies whose populations consist primarily of immigrants need to be better prepared to promote the health of this group.
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Keywords: communication/persuasion model; community health advisors; immigrant health

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA.

Publication date: 2003-11-01

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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