Online Program

Feasibility testing of a culturally-tailored worksite wellness program to address obesity among hispanic manufacturing workers

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Suad F. Ghaddar, PhD, South Texas Border Health Disparities Center, The University of Texas-Pan American, Edinburg, TX
Liza Talavera-Garza, PhD, South Texas Border Health Disparities Center, The University of Texas-Pan American, Edinburg, TX
Melissa A. Valerio, PhD, MPH, School of Public Health - San Antonio Regional Campus, University of Texas School of Public Health, San Antonio, TX
Obesity's workplace-related costs exceed $73 billion annually. The purpose of this study is to describe the feasibility testing of Trabajando Juntos/Working Together (TJWT), a culturally-tailored worksite wellness program addressing obesity among Hispanic manufacturing workers along the Texas-Mexico border. Curriculum content was informed by health literacy frameworks and social cognitive theory as well as findings of three studies examining the health of Hispanic manufacturing workers (one-on-one interviews (N=228); focus groups (N=26); interviews with 20 managerial personnel).

Eleven employees from a large manufacturing company participated in the feasibility testing of the program (7 one-hour sessions over 3-month period). Topics addressed: obesity-related risks, health screening numbers, physical activity, nutrition, patient-provider communication, and navigation of the healthcare system. A website and a Short Messaging System were incorporated to reinforce obesity control and prevention. Participants completed an interview and anthropometric and clinical assessments at baseline and program-end. Eight participants completed the full program. Attrition was due to employees' transfer to another facility. Qualitative data was collected to identify satisfaction and areas for tailoring and revising of curriculum.

At program conclusion, participants had lost an average of 7 pounds and 2 inches of waist circumference. These changes were primarily triggered by increases in physical activity. Focus group themes included enjoyment of physical activity exercises; helpfulness of text messages to support behaviors; incorporation of learned behaviors in daily life; sharing of program information with families; understanding of clinical test results motivating lifestyle changes.

Feasibility results support culturally-tailored worksite health promotion programs to address obesity in minority populations.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe the steps involved in developing and testing a culturally-tailored worksite wellness program in minority populations.

Keyword(s): Obesity, Occupational Health Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Over the past three years, I have led multiple studies investigating the health of Hispanic manufacturing workers in border communities and, along with colleagues, have developed the worksite wellness program to be 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.