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Promotora-Delivered Education Intervention for Improving Mothers’ Dietary Intake

J Health Commun. 2014 Nov 6:1-12. [Pubmed Abstract]

Evidence Supporting a Promotora-Delivered Entertainment Education Intervention for Improving Mothers’ Dietary Intake: The Entre Familia: Reflejos de Salud Study
Ayala GX, Ibarra L, Horton L, Arredondo EM, Slymen DJ, Engelberg M, Rock CL, Hernandez E, Parada H, Elder JP

Entertainment education and the promotora model are 2 evidence-based health communication strategies. This study examined their combined effect on promoting healthy eating among mothers in a family-based intervention. Participants were 361 Mexican-origin families living in Imperial County, California, who were randomly assigned to an intervention or delayed treatment condition. The intervention involved promotoras (community health workers) who delivered 11 home visits and 4 telephone calls. Home visits included a 12-minute episode of a 9-part situation comedy depicting a family struggling with making healthy eating choices; an accompanying family workbook was reviewed to build skills and left with the family. Baseline and immediate postintervention data were collected from the mothers, including the primary outcome of daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Other dietary and psychosocial factors related to healthy eating were examined. At postintervention, mothers in the intervention reported increases in daily vegetable servings (p ≤ .05); however, no changes were observed in fruit consumption. Improvements were observed in behavioral strategies to increase fiber (p ≤ .001) and to decrease fat intake (p ≤ .001), unhealthy eating behaviors (p ≤ .001), and individual (p ≤ .05) and family-related (p ≤ .01) perceived barriers to healthy eating. Entertainment education and promotoras engaged families and improved mothers’ diets. Further research should examine the dose needed for greater changes.

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