182974 El Plan de Exito: A culturally specific tool to encourage and support Latino immigrant families to make healthy lifestyle changes

Monday, October 27, 2008

Amy Elizabeth Lara, BA , UCLA International Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Lydia Guzman, MPH, RD , San Mateo County Health System, San Mateo, CA
In 2008, the federal government alone will spend more than $1 billion on nutrition education. Yet, the rate of obesity and diabetes among Latinos continues to climb reaching epidemic proportions. Even though nutrition education resources have been developed to address the problem, research shows that education alone is not enough to elicit behavior change. Therefore, El Plan de Exito (EPDE) was developed to help Latinos turn abstract concepts into behavior change, becoming the missing link between information and behavior change.

Method: EPDE was designed based on behavior change theory, assisting Latino immigrant families in developing a personalized plan to facilitate healthy behavior. EPDE is a worksheet that allows the individual to record personal goals, reasons for change, perceived barriers to change and specifically how they can address these barriers. It provides guidance and suggestions that are focused on the family unit as well as, environmental and psychosocial barriers specific to the Latino immigrant families. This tool helps the individual realize their source of motivation so that they may take concrete health information and translate that into healthy behavior change. After presenting a nutrition education intervention to 225 families, half of the families were guided through the behavior change process using EPDE while the other half were only encouraged to make the changes but not given EPDE.

Results: Preliminary results indicate that 60% of participants who were administered EPDE worksheet successfully implemented at least one selected behavioral change compared to only 13% of participants in the control group.

Learning Objectives:
At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to: List three strong motivating factors that result in behavior change among Latino immigrant families. Utilize a culturally specific health promotion tool that enables Latino immigrant families to make behavior changes.

Keywords: Immigrants, Health Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Under the direction of Lydia Guzman RD. MPH., I am assistant investigator in recording behavioral change among the studied population.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.