Promotoras (Community Health Workers) as partners in research, lessons learned and recommendations
Background: Promotoras de salud (community health workers) have long been recognized for their capacity to lead, teach and advocate for the communities they serve. In this study, promotoras were asked to take on yet another role, that of a researcher. Integrating promotoras into community based participatory (CBPR) research can be beneficial as they are known and trusted members of their communities that can improve outreach, recruitment and dissemination efforts. Methods: Twenty-five(25 promotoras were trained on the Su Corazon Su Vida curriculum, a heart health intervention developed by the NHLBI and delivered among Latinos. Promotoras obtained human subjects certification, were trained on research protocols, obtained informed consent, collected de-identified pre and post data from 750 community participants, and contributed to data interpretation as community advisory board members. Academic partners learned about mutual equal sharing of decision-making and information, and respect for community knowledge. Results: There are numerous benefits to including promotoras in research studies. There are also challenges in negotiating varied research agenda, ensuring participant confidentiality, data quality and integrity, especially when engaging promotoras across varied geographic locations. Discussion: Recommendations for future collaborations between promotoras and academic researchers include providing consistent follow-up through multiple media (email, text, phone, Facebook), providing evaluation protocol booster sessions after initial training, and collaborating with a community organization with a long history with promotoras de salud. Promotoras' unique perspective and experiences added to the study's success and their contributions to data interpretation allowed for a more meaningful analysis.
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
Identify the benefits and challenges to including Promotoras in research studies.
Design a successful and meaningful research study involving Promotoras.
Keyword(s): Challenges and Opportunities, Lay Health Workers
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the project manager for several community based participatory research projects for the past 7 years. In this project I was project manager and in this role I have provided ongoing support to the promotoras and developed their development plan.
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.