Community health workers are often overlooked and underutilized as powerful change agents for health equity. This report, based on a review of nine studies, provides evidence and policy recommendations. It describes the value of including CHWs in healthcare delivery systems for addressing inequities.
Communities across the United States face numerous challenges in terms of health status and access to care. Community health workers (CHWs) provide major assistance in delivery of health resources through a community centered approach. This policy document from the American Public Health Association (APHA) updates the organization’s 2001 policy statement: “Recognition and Support for Community Health Workers’ Contributions to Meeting Our Nation’s Health Care Needs.” It reviews progress and provides recommendations for better integrating CHWs into the US healthcare system.
This systematic review assesses the evidence on integrating community health workers (CHWs) into the delivery of mental health services in the United States and low- and middle- income countries. It includes 43 articles of which 39 are trials. The article highlights CHW background characteristics, their role in the mental health service provision, and the types of interventions in which they were involved.
Access to surgical care represents a pressing challenge in LMICs, particularly for vulnerable populations. Community health workers (CHWs) and lay people play diverse roles in primary health care in these settings. However, they remain disconnected from surgical care in most environments. This study looked to assess the degree to which CHW understanding of surgical conditions could be improved using a pictorial based manual. The assessment was carried out using questionnaire instruments and context specific focus groups in Central America.
The purpose of this study was to apply the RE-AIM framework to evaluate data obtained from focus group discussions to generate information on the availability of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk interventions through the COACH program in Nebraska. The COACH approach involves interventions provided by nurses and community health workers
While cancer screening tests are available, Latinos are screened at a lower rate than non-Hispanic whites. This study looked at the effectiveness of an evidence-based community health worker (CHW) intervention which was designed to increase screening rates, knowledge about screening guidelines and awareness about benefits of early detection. The project involved community and clinic-based components primarily targeted at Latino populations.
Miami-Dade County in the state of Florida, USA, faces the largest burden of new HIV infections in the nation. Building off the success of street-based HIV testing carried out by community health workers (CHWs), this study looks at a community-based approach for HIV testing among Black adults. This CHW-led intervention included providing education about risk factor modification, transmission and prevention methods along with HIV testing.
There are myriad models of Community health worker (CHW) employment; however, there is limited knowledge about the link between organizational structures and CHW experiences. This article presents results from seventeen in depth interviews conducted with CHWs, their supervisors and leadership to gather perceptions regarding CHW effectiveness and organizational structure.
Community health workers (CHWs) play a crucial role in enabling access to healthcare in marginalized communities; yet they also face numerous structural challenges which complicate their care delivery. This paper discusses the results of a year-long ethnographic study which looked at structural barriers faced by community health works in Indiana.