The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3074.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 7

Abstract #56494

Promoting Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors Among Latinos: The Role of Lay Health Advisors

Deborah Koniak-Griffin, EdD, RNC, FAAN, School of Nursing, University of California, Los Angeles, Box 956919, Los Angeles, CA 90095-6919, 310-206-3842, and Sue Kim, PhD, RN, School of Nursing, University of Virginia, P.O. Box 800782, Charlottesville, VA 22908-0982.

Obesity, lack of exercise, and exposure to tobacco smoke contribute to chronic disease and decreased life expectancy. These problems are increasing in Southern California and disproportionately affect some communities. To address these problems within one community of underserved Latinos, participatory research methods were used. An outreach program was designed through a collaborative partnership between UCLA School of Nursing, Los Angeles County Department of Health, and members of the target community. Latina lay health advisors (LHAs) (n=12) from the community were recruited and trained to teach classes (n=3) in healthy nutrition, physical activity, and maintaining a smoke-free environment. Classes were offered in Spanish to adult Latinos recruited by the LHAs through their social networks. Participants were predominantly women, married (76%), did not work outside of the home (72%), lacked health insurance (54%), and were Catholics (88%). Fifty-six percent had lived in the U.S. less than 14 years and 60% had less than 9 years of education. A questionnaire on lifestyle behaviors and knowledge was completed at baseline and one month following the last class. Results of paired comparison t-tests (df = 247) on 248 participants showed significant increases in scores from baseline to follow-up in overall lifestyle behaviors (t=-13.07, p<.0001), nutrition behavior subsets (t=-10.77, p<.0001), physical activity behavior subset (t=-12.03, p<.001), smoke free behavior subset (t=-2.59, p<.05), overall health knowledge (t=-2.41, p<.05), and nutrition-related knowledge subset (t=-3.16, p<.01). These findings demonstrate the positive health promoting influence of the LHAs and support their use as an alternative health care delivery strategy.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Lay Health Workers, Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Bridging the Cultural Divide

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA