Role of Community Health Workers in Addressing Agricultural Workers’ Health Disparities

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J Agromedicine. 2022 Feb 16. doi: 10.1080/1059924X.2022.2040069. Online ahead of print.


Objective. Community health workers (CHWs) are in a unique position to connect migrant and seasonal agricultural workers to health promotion and clinical services. However, research on the experiences of CHWs, particularly related to their provision of health education to agricultural workers, is limited. Methods. To explore CHW health education practices and challenges, we conducted three focus group discussions with farm worker health CHWs (N=28) in North Carolina in the spring of 2020. We analyzed the focus group transcripts and we compared the code results. , thematic code summaries and memos maintained throughout the analytical process to review the experiences of CHWs in acquiring and disseminating health information and resources, including the use of technology. Results. We identified three themes related to the experiences of CHWs providing health information to agricultural workers. First, CHVs described short-term preparation, just before providing health services, and long-term activities, devoted to maintaining and improving their ability to provide relevant health information to agricultural workers. Second, they described their use of health education methods, including open-ended questions, participatory and interactive approaches, and non-verbal aids. Third, participants described their current use of technology and related challenges, as well as the technology needed to improve health awareness, including internet access. conclusion. Findings reveal opportunities to improve farmworker health education through professional development of CHWs, identifying preferred methods of health education for farmworkers, and providing technology to farmworker-serving organizations . Establishing rural internet access and equipping outreach organizations with technology would position CHWs to be most effective as they work to reduce health inequities agricultural workers.

PMID:35168470 | DO I:10.1080/1059924X.2022.2040069

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