Knowledge and Behavioral Effects in Cardiovascular Health: Community Health Worker Health Disparities Initiative, 2007–2010
Published Date:Feb 13 2014
Source:Prev Chronic Dis. 11.
Funding:GS-10F-0112J/PHS HHS/United States
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and disparities in cardiovascular health exist among African Americans, American Indians, Hispanics, and Filipinos. The Community Health Worker Health Disparities Initiative of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) includes culturally tailored curricula taught by community health workers (CHWs) to improve knowledge and heart-healthy behaviors in these racial/ethnic groups.
We used data from 1,004 community participants in a 10-session curriculum taught by CHWs at 15 sites to evaluate the NHLBI’s health disparities initiative by using a 1-group pretest–posttest design. The curriculum addressed identification and management of cardiovascular disease risk factors. We used linear mixed effects and generalized linear mixed effects models to examine results.
Average participant age was 48; 75% were female, 50% were Hispanic, 35% were African American, 8% were Filipino, and 7% were American Indian. Twenty-three percent reported a history of diabetes, and 37% reported a family history of heart disease. Correct pretest to posttest knowledge scores increased from 48% to 74% for heart healthy knowledge. The percentage of participants at the action or maintenance stage of behavior change increased from 41% to 85%.
Using the CHW model to implement community education with culturally tailored curricula may improve heart health knowledge and behaviors among minorities. Further studies should examine the influence of such programs on clinical risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
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