Online Program

Evaluation of familias fuertes in three countries in latin america

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Pamela Orpinas, PhD, Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Matilde Maddaleno, MD, MPH/, Adolescent Health, The Pan American Health Organization, Washington, DC
Lauren Vulanovic, MA, Family and Community Health, Pan American Health Organization, Washington, DC
Gonzalo Sosa, MD, Salud Mental y Drogras, Ministerio de Salud y Protección Social, Colombia
Martha Mejia, MD, Oficina Panamericana de la Salud (OPS/OMS), Bolivia
Betzabé Butrón, MD, Oficina Panamericana de la Salud (OPS/OMS) en Ecuador, Ecuador
Caroline McNicholas, MA, Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Ismael Soriano, MD, Oficina Panamericana de la Salud (OPS/OMS), Ecuador
Background. Familias Fuertes (FF) is a family-based, primary prevention intervention for youth sponsored by the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO). FF consists of seven weekly sessions for parents and their children aged 10-14 years. The long-term goal of FF is to prevent the initiation of adolescents' high-risk behaviors by strengthening family relationships and by promoting self-regulation and positive conflict resolution strategies. This presentation describes the FF program, examines the effects of FF on families from three countries in Latin America, and discusses the lessons learned in the process. Methods. Between August-November 2012, PAHO trained local facilitators in Bolivia, Colombia and Ecuador who implemented FF with 361 families and administered a survey before and after the intervention. The survey measured the mediating factors identified in the program's theoretical model. The participating adolescents were evenly distributed by gender, but more mothers than fathers participated. Results. The comparison of parents' pre and post surveys showed positive changes in several constructs, such as increase of positive communication and decrease of negative communication such as insulting. Some constructs in the adolescent surveys showed a statistical change, such as stronger perception of parental communication against risky behaviors and feeling better equipped to deal with peer pressure. Overall, the differences were small in all constructs. Parents reported very high satisfaction with the program. Discussion. Theory and research indicates that FF is a promising primary prevention program. Different criteria for selection of families and diversity in social and cultural context were important factors explaining the results.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the goals, strategies and conceptual framework of the Familias Fuertes program. Explain the role of the Pan American Health Organization in the development and distribution of Familias Fuertes program and of the evaluation tools. Discuss the lessons learned in the implementation and evaluation of Familias Fuertes in Latin America.

Keyword(s): Adolescents, International, Family Involvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted the evaluation report for PAHO.
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.