Chronic diseases are the primary health burden among Mexican-origin populations and health promotion efforts have not been able to change negative population trends. This research presents behavioral and subjective health impacts of two related community health worker (CHW) interventions conducted in the US–Mexico border region. Pasos Adelante (United States) and Meta Salud (Mexico) are 12–13 week CHW-led preventive interventions implemented with Mexico-origin adults. Curricula include active learning modules to promote healthy dietary changes and increasing physical activity; they also incorporate strategies to promote social support, empowerment and group exercise components responsive to their communities. Questionnaire data at baseline (N ¼ 347 for Pasos; 171 for Meta Salud), program completion and 3-month follow-up were analyzed. Results showed statistically significant improvements in multiple reported dietary, physical activity and subjective health indicators. Furthermore, at follow-up across both cohorts there were 10% improvements in participants’ meeting recommended physical activity guidelines, consumption of whole milk, days of poor mental health and self-rated health. While this study identifies some robust health improvements and contributes to the evidence base for these interventions current dissemination, the lack of change observed for some targeted behaviors (e.g. time sitting) suggests they may have stronger overall impacts with curricula refinement.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health