"Αnd so I realize I'm not the only one": Contribution of promotoras in a childhood obesity intervention for Latino families
Background: The burden of childhood overweight and obesity is greatest among Latino youth, and is expected to lead to increasing health inequities over time. Many Latino families face significant barriers to changing obesogenic behaviors, including cultural differences and low income. Outreach and leadership by promotoras may overcome more barriers than traditional clinical models for treating obesity in low-income Latino children. Objective: We sought to understand the contribution of promotoras in a clinic-based obesity treatment program for Latino families, and their impact on families' acceptance of and value for clinical obesity treatment. Methods: We are conducting semi-structured interviews with 20 participating parents in an obesity intervention co-led by a physician, nutritionist, and promotora. Interview transcripts were coded and analyzed through a modified grounded theory approach. Results: Preliminary results suggest several major themes: 1) Promotoras instill confidence and empowerment in participating parents. As one mother said, They gave confidence to us
so that I can open myself up and express what I could say
Like something left from inside me, and now I can speak. 2) Promotoras address non-medical challenges to health that families face, and thereby overcome barriers to program participation. 3) Promotoras help families with obese children to feel less isolated. One parent said, The kids, to see them all together, you kind of get more motivated, and they know they aren't alone in this. Conclusions: Promotoras, by bridging cultures, combatting isolation, and personally addressing families' barriers to participation, may enhance the impact of a childhood obesity treatment program for Latino families.
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Identify the unique contributions of promotoras in the implementation of an interdisciplinary childhood obesity intervention for Latino families.
Explain the process by which Latino families progress toward their weight and health goals with the help and support of promotoras.
Keyword(s): Obesity, Latino Health
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a medical student working toward a concurrent Master's degree in Health and Medical Sciences at UC Berkeley. For my thesis, I am working with the PI of this study, Dr. Kristine Madsen, a physician with over a decade of experience in childhood obesity research. I also bring prior experience working with promotoras in underserved communities.
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.