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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 148

Results from brief educational intervention and health screenings: A community health study of Latinos in Southwest Florida

Marieb College of Health & Human Services, Florida Gulf Coast University Fort Myers, FL, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Payal Kahar
Marieb 326, 10501 FGCU Blvd, Fort Myers, FL-33965
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jehp.jehp_157_20

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BACKGROUND: Latinos in the U.S., one of the fastest growing minority population, have low health-related knowledge and higher rates of diabetes and obesity. AIM: The study aims (1) to assess health-related knowledge levels and change in knowledge levels after brief educational intervention and (2) to assess undiagnosed diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia in adult Latinos residing in Immokalee, Florida. A total of 164 participants completed pre–posttests while 161 participants took part in health screenings comprising blood pressure (BP), total cholesterol (TC), blood glucose (BG), and body mass index (BMI). METHODS: Health-related knowledge levels were assessed using 10 questions before and after the educational intervention via face-to face interviews. BP was measured using automated sphygmomanometer, BG and TC were measured using lipid and glucose analyzer, waist circumference using inch tape and BMI using digital scale. T test and Chi square were used to examine the differences in knowledge levels and distribution of screening results across demographic characteristics and self-reports respectively. RESULTS: Mean age was 40.1 ± 13.3 years; there were 77 males and 87 females. The knowledge levels based on 10 questions increased by 1.43 (0.42) after educational sessions (P < 0.001). Participants with college degree had statistically significantly higher pre–posttest scores than those with no formal or less than high school education (P = 0.041). More males than females had high BP in the age groups of 18–44 and ≥45 years (P < 0.001). More males in the age group of 18–44 years had high TC (P = 0.024). Differences between screening results and self-reports for diabetes and BP were statistically significant (P < 0.001 and P = 0.01, respectively). Mean BMI was 28.5 ± 5.1 and waist circumference was 38.6 ± 4.8 inch. Mean random and fasting BG levels and TC were higher in females than in males (P = 0.003, P = 0.022, and P = 0.004, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: The study highlights undiagnosed diabetes and hypertension in Latinos and more Latino males than females to have hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. Latinos' vulnerability to chronic diseases and associated complications is further confounded by limited health knowledge. However, the results of the brief educational program were encouraging and have implications in setting up structured educational interventions in health clinics and migrant education programs.

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