244196 CHWs Promote Heart Health in Low-Resource Communities in Latin America

Monday, October 31, 2011

Branka Legetic , Health Surveillance and disease management/non communicable disease project, Pan American Health Organzation, Washington, DC
Gloria Ortiz , Division for the Application of Research Discoveries (DARD), National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), Bethesda, MD
Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the Americas. Evidence reveals increased CVD risk factors in all countries including overweight, hypertension, smoking, diabetes, and lack of physical activity. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) are collaborating to address this public health challenge. Following a workshop on the feasibility of using the CHW model to promote health in the Americas, the NHLBI and PAHO funded three projects to plan, implement, and evaluate interventions led by trained CHWs to promote heart health in low-resource communities in Argentina, Chile, and Guatemala (2007 to 2010). Methods: Project teams, trained on the use of NHLBI's Your Heart, Your Life (Su corazón, su vida) Manual, used qualitative methods to adapt the manual to the realities of each site; a pre and post-test was utilized to measure changes in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors (KABs) among trained CHWs and community members who participants in the interventions. Qualitative methods were used to identify promising community engagement and partnership approaches to assure sustainability.

Results: The projects demonstrated the feasibility of adapting CHW training tools designed for Latino audiences in the United States, and identified methods to mobilize community resources and engage community members to adopt healthy behaviors.

Conclusions: KAB's for heart healthy behaviors significantly increased among trained CHWs and community members who participated in CHW-led interventions, suggesting that training CHWs enhances their ability to provide heart health information and influence community members to adopt healthy behaviors.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the purpose of engaging CHW in prevention of CVD . 2. Discuss the process of training CHWs to engage low-resource communities in heart health activities. 3. List at least two outcomes of the NHLBI-PAHO Projects to promote heart health.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am PAHO-WHO regional adviser for NCD prevention and was directly responsible with NHLBI tema to carry on the demostration projects that are presented.
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.