Understanding the success of Promotoras in increasing chronic disease screening

Kerstin M. Reinschmidt, Jennifer B. Hunter, M. Lourdes Fernández, Charles R. Lacy-Martínez, Jill Guernsey De Zapien, Joel Meister

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


The purpose of this qualitative study was to elicit information on why a promotora (or, community health worker (CHW)) increased adherence to chronic disease screening among women along the U.S.-Mexico border. After completion of the intervention, women and clinic staff who participated in the promotora phase of a randomized, controlled study answered structured, open-ended questionnaires. Clinicians from two non-participating clinics were also interviewed. Content analysis found that the promotora's roles included health education and the facilitation of routine and follow-up care. Clients appreciated the promotora's socio-cultural characteristics, as well as her personal skills and qualities, and described her as a trained, natural helper whose personalized support removed barriers to health care and helped women to take care of themselves. Most clinicians recommended working with a CHW to increase adherence to chronic disease prevention practices. A CHW can play a crucial role on a health care team and interventions should tap into this resource.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-264
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of health care for the poor and underserved
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2006


  • Adherence
  • Community health worker
  • Community-based intervention
  • Hispanic
  • Promotora
  • Self-efficacy
  • Self-reliance
  • U.S.-Mexico border
  • Women's chronic disease screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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