An integrated mixed methods approach to clarifying delivery, receipt and potential benefits of CHW-facilitated social support in a health promotion intervention

Maia Ingram, Kiera Coulter, Kevin Doubleday, Cynthia Espinoza, Floribella Redondo, Ada M. Wilkinson-Lee, Abby M. Lohr, Scott C. Carvajal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Social support plays a critical role in physical and emotional health, making it an important component of community health worker (CHW) health promotion interventions. Different types of support operate in different ways, however, and the relationship between the nature of CHW support and the subsequent health benefit for their clients is not well understood. Methods: This paper describes an integrated mixed methods study of the emotional, informational, appraisal and tangible support CHWs provided to Latinx community members residing in three US-Mexico border communities. Using a cohort (n = 159) from a CHW community-based intervention, we identify and describe four clusters of social support in which participants are characterized by life situations that informed the types of social support provided by the CHW. We examine the association between each cluster and client perceptions of social support over the 6-month intervention. Results: CHWs provided emotional, appraisal, informational and tangible support depending on the needs of participants. Participants who received higher levels of emotional support from the CHW experienced the greatest post intervention increase in perceived social support. Conclusions: Study findings suggest that CHWs may be adept at providing non-directive social support based on their interaction with a client rather than a health outcome objective. Health promotion interventions should allow CHWs the flexibility to tailor provision of social support based on their assessment of client needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number793
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Community health worker
  • Health promotion
  • Hierarchical cluster analysis
  • Mixed methods
  • Narrative analysis
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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