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Community engagement approach: developing a culturally appropriate intervention for Hispanic mother-child dyads.

  • Author(s): Bender, Melinda S;
  • Clark, Mary Jo;
  • Gahagan, Sheila
  • et al.

Childhood obesity affects approximately 20% of U.S. preschool children. Early prevention is needed to reduce young children's risks for obesity, especially among Hispanic preschool children who have one of the highest rates of obesity. Vida Saludable was an early childhood obesity intervention designed to be culturally appropriate for low-income Hispanic mothers with preschool children to improve maternal physical activity and reduce children's sugar-sweetened beverage consumption. It was conducted at a large southwestern United States urban health center. Presented here are the methods and rationale employed to develop and culturally adapt Vida Saludable, followed by scoring and ranking of the intervention's cultural adaptations. An empowered community helped design the customized, culturally relevant program via a collaborative partnership between two academic research institutions, a community health center, and stakeholders. Improved health behaviors in the participants may be attributed in part to this community-engagement approach. The intervention's cultural adaptations were scored and received a high comprehensive rank. Postprogram evaluation of the intervention indicated participant satisfaction. The information presented provides investigators with guidelines, a template, and a scoring tool for developing, implementing, and evaluating culturally adapted interventions for ethnically diverse populations.

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