CBPR: The Value of Promotoras' Observations

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Ana Cristina Rosa, BSN
Megan Frost
Melissa Ortiz
Jeanne-Marie Stacciarini, PhD, RN
School of Nursing, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Learning Objective 1: identify strengths and weaknesses of the use of promotoras in Community Based Participatory Research.

Learning Objective 2: to list vital training needs of promotoras.

Purpose: This study is associated with the research titled Using Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) to Address Depression in Rural Low-income Latino Mothers and Children. The specific aims were: (1) describe evidence on the role, training, and use of promotoras in the rural Latino community, (2) describe promotoras’ Logs Entries recorded during data collection of a mental health assessment amongst rural Latino women and children in North Florida, and (3) propose ideas to be included in promotoras training to maximize their effectiveness with the community. 

Methods: This was a pilot descriptive study, using CBPR principles. Initially a review of literature was performed by searching electronic databases for how promotoras have been trained for use in the Latino community. Promotoras (women from the actual community) were trained to collect data on depression and self-esteem with women and children in the rural Latino. After visiting participants houses, promotoras recorded structured Log Entries (N=45) to report their observations of the data collection process. Logs were content analyzed by 4 researchers to ensure reliability.

Results: The literature review demonstrated that promotoras have been used effectively to deliver interventions in the Latino community. Log entries analysis revealed the following categories: social desirability, family dynamics, interventionist role, and instrument clarification. The Log Entries revealed promotoras’ strengths and weaknesses, which will, in turn, help in the future training and use of promotoras. Training on professionalism and intervention delivery would be beneficial.

Conclusion: Promotoras’ strengths of compassion and community knowledge need to be acknowledged and encouraged. Future training should include education on how to deliver interventions and distribute resources. Training on objective data recording and professionalism, including avoidance of biases, will likely increase their effectiveness. Promotoras can be empowered to use these skills along with their knowledge to both help the community and be a reliable research member.