The purpose of this FAST TRACK SBIR is to develop and evaluate a culturally relevant health literacy- training program for Latinos to improve the knowledge and skills to protect health and prevent disease. This program is tentatively entitled Entre Nuestra Familias/Among Our Latino Families (ENF). Drawing from traditional Hispanic values, the ENF Program provides an intergenerational approach to health education, offering multiple members of the family simultaneous training in key health literacy skills and information on cross-cutting health topics to reinforce healthy behaviors within families and communities. This training program will be offered through community-based organizations to reduce institutional barriers to care that are often experienced by Latinos. The U.S. Census reported in 2007 that there are45.5 million Hispanics living in the U.S. Not only do Latinos constitute the fastest growing minority group in the country, but they also face significant health challenges. Indeed, Hispanics bear a higher burden of disease than non-Hispanic whites in almost every category of risk, and there is evidence that the health disparities experienced by Latinos may be linked to significant barriers to health care, including low rates of health insurance, low English proficiency, lack of accurate and culturally relevant health information, a dearth of culturally competent health facilities and information, fear and mistrust of the U.S. Medical system. Because of these disparities and their resulting impact on health, there have been strong calls to develop culturally appropriate public health initiatives to improve the health of Latinos in the U.S. To that end, KDH Research &Communication will develop the ENF Program. In Phase I, KDHRC will develop the print portions of the training program, and conduct a pilot evaluation of the product's effectiveness, in collaboration with Dia de la Mujer Latino, a health advocacy group that serves Latinos. In Phase II, we will expand the training program to include video elements for the participants and multimedia aspects for the facilitator. Then, we will implement and evaluate the training program at multiple sites to examine the program's effectiveness and the extent to which different social factors (poverty, education, country of origin, geographic location) best predict efficacy of the program, using a quasi- experimental pre-test, post-test evaluation design. Following product completion and evaluation, the ENF program will be disseminated to community-based organizations nationwide. The results of the evaluation will be disseminated through the academic literature and practice and policy briefs to add to scientific knowledge about best practices for reducing health disparities in Latino communities. Further, we will conduct town hall meetings in our target communities to disseminate results of the evaluation to those most affected by the research.
Hispanics bear a higher burden of disease than non-Hispanic whites in almost every category of risk, and as a result, there have been strong calls for the public health community to develop culturally appropriate interventions to reduce health disparities. This proposal is to develop an intergenerational health literacy training program that incorporates key aspects of Latino culture to engage and retain participants. The program will be delivered through community based nonprofit and faith-based organizations to reduce barriers to care. After the development and evaluation of this product, the training program will be disseminated nationwide to provide the public health field with an effective and innovative tool to reduce health disparities among Latinos.