208979 Integration of a culturally and linguistically relevant maternal and child health promotores project targeting Latina immigrant expectant mothers

Monday, November 9, 2009: 5:00 PM

Britt Rios-Ellis, PhD, MS , NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
Silvia Rodriguez, BA , NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
Throughout the United States, Latinos are more likely than any other racial/ethnic minority group to be uninsured or underinsured, and are less likely to use health services when available. Spanish speaking patients, particularly those who have recently immigrated, often experience cultural and linguistic isolation. These issues, combined with low socioeconomic status and poor access to information and health care, often have deleterious effects on health outcomes.

The Salud con Hyland's: Comienzo Saludable, Familia Sana Project, serves to improve multiple health outcomes by providing expectant Spanish-speaking mothers with the education, advocacy skills, and social support necessary to ensure both the health of the infant and the mother. Six Latina immigrant promotoras (community educators) underwent training to conduct two educational sessions (charlas) for Latinas no less than 14 weeks pregnant and Latina mothers with a child no older than 2 months of age. A Spanish-language infant developmental calendar and a curriculum were developed to serve as educational reinforcement for Latina mothers. The curriculum was delivered through charlas designed to: 1) educate participants about maternal and child health issues; 2) improve health advocacy skills; 3) provide resource information; and, 4) provide a forum for social support.

Three hundred and two Spanish-speaking Latina expectant mothers were recruited through community-based clinics and health fairs. The project assessed the impact of the intervention on participant knowledge, behavior and beliefs as they relate to maternal and infant health, with an emphasis on breastfeeding and age-appropriate introduction of foods and solids. Implementation strategies and findings will be presented.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the effects of a culturally relevant promotores-based maternal and infant health program on Spanish-speaking pregnant Latinas or those who have recently delivered. 2. Identify factors that may contribute to improved health outcomes among Latinas and their infants

Keywords: Latinas, Maternal and Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Project Director.
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.