186404 Entre Parejas: A Promotores-driven Approach to Increasing Latinas' Understanding of Contraception and Sexual and Reproductive Health

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 5:15 PM

Liany Elba Arroyo, MPH, CPH , Institute for Hispanic Health, National Council of La Raza, Washington, DC
Natalie D. Hernandez, MPH , College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Andel Nicasio, MSEd , Latin@ Consumer Genetics Education Network, Dominican Women's Development Center, New York City, NY
Latinos are the largest minority group in the United States, with a much younger median age than the total U.S. population. Furthermore, nearly half of the Hispanic population is under the age of 29. The fact that nearly a quarter of the population is in its prime reproductive years necessitates an understanding of how to effectively provide Latinos information on contraception and contraceptive options. Currently, few resources exist which address the obstacles Latinas face when accessing reproductive health information and care. Barriers such as language, literacy, and lack of knowledge about services contribute to low rates of contraception use among female Hispanics. With this in mind, the National Council of La Raza's Institute for Hispanic Health, in partnership with Bayer HealthCare, Inc., designed, pre-tested, and implemented a promotores de salud (lay health educators) project in four cities. Focus group research and a comprehensive literature review informed the content of the project's tool kit, which includes a bilingual flipchart, guide, and educational booklet. Pre-tested with 160 Latinas, the tool kit covers topics such as anatomy, contraceptive options, and the contraception decision-making process. In an interactive and culturally- and linguistically-appropriate manner, this project aims to inform Latinas of the contraceptive options available to them as well as raise awareness of sexual and reproductive health matters, particularly among those Latinas who are recent immigrants. Results from the project will be used to create other programs, inform policy development, and increase understanding of the sexual and reproductive health needs of Latinas.

Learning Objectives:
1) Learn about an innovative promotores de salud intervention designed to increase Latinas’ knowledge of contraceptive options available in the U.S. 2) Articulate the need for culturally- and linguistically-appropriate sexual and reproductive health education programs for Latinas. 3) Increase understanding of Latinas’ attitudes and behaviors regarding contraceptive use.

Keywords: Latinas, Reproductive Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: of my current and previous work experience and research with the Latino community.
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.