Over 60 million people reside outside cities in the United States. These populations often face higher rates of diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart disease and suicide. While no specific cause for these disparities have been identified, environmental differences, education gaps and workforce shortages could be potential causes. This article presents 5 strategies for improving public health in rural America. Establishing a strong network of community health workers is highly recommended for improved health outcomes.
Community health workers (CHWs) play a key role in addressing social determinants of health especially among low-income, ethnic minority groups. This study comprises a secondary analysis of a randomized control trail which examined how CHWs support ambulatory healthcare among Hispanic and African American patients with uncontrolled type-2 diabetes.
The global prevalence of diabetes has been rising steadily since the 1980s and low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are struggling to manage the epidemic. This article looks at a clinical decision support smartphone app designed to provide support to community health workers in rural Guatemala . The app aids with lay help community health workers manage diabetes among patients.
Over a three-month period, this study evaluated a community-based diabetes self-management intervention that incorporated photovoice and community health workers to identify diabetes management approaches that work in an African American community.
This article reports the findings of a pilot study of home-based screening of common non-communicable diseases by community health workers in rural India. The pilot included screening over 6000 rural Indian residents by CHWs over a six-month period.
This article describes a distance learning approach for CHWs using the Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) model™, which is a video-conferencing-based mentorship model. The authors describe the ECHO model for CHW training and mentoring using case examples and pre/post-surveys from an obesity prevention and addiction recovery program. They conclude that the ECHO model has advantages over traditional training methods for CHWs and can be adapted to other countries.
More evidence on CHWs’ impact on improving disease control and medication adherence among patients with non-communicable diseases in low-income and middle-income countries is needed. This prospective observational study examines the impact of a CHW-led intervention among patients with diabetes and/or hypertension in Chiapas, Mexico.
Healthy Fit is an intervention that uses CHWs to extend the public health infrastructure to reduce Hispanic health disparities in the US. This study evaluates the effectiveness of Healthy Fit in identifying the health needs of Hispanic Americans living on the US-Mexico border, and in helping participants access health services through CHW recommendations/referrals.
With the urgency of the HIV and TB epidemics in some low and middle-income countries, prevalent chronic diseases such as hypertension are often neglected by health services. This study assesses whether task-shifting from nurses to lay health workers (LHWs) improves the management of hypertension in rural primary healthcare clinics in South Africa.