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Qual Health Res. 2015 Dec;25(12):1733-46. doi: 10.1177/1049732314568323. Epub 2015 Jan 16.

Developing a Culturally Sensitive Lifestyle Behavior Change Program for Older Latinas.

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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA.
University of Illinois at Chicago, Illinois, USA.


Despite the burgeoning U.S. Latino population and their increased risk of chronic disease, little emphasis had been placed on developing culturally sensitive lifestyle interventions in this area. This article examines older Latinas' sociocultural context relative to health with the goal of developing a culturally sensitive health behavior intervention. Photo-elicitation indicated two emerging themes that influenced lifestyle choices: family caregiving and religion. Researchers partnered with a faith-based organization to develop and implement a 6-month lifestyle intervention for Latinas ages 50 and older: Abuelas en Acción (AEA). At completion, interviews were conducted to understand women's experiences and the influence AEA had on their lifestyles and health. Findings suggest that religious content empowered and deeply affected women; however, the intergenerational content presented significant challenges for instruction, retention, and implementation. We discuss findings in relation to the health intervention literature and provide suggestions for future interventions drawing on religion, family, and health behavior change.


Latino / Hispanic people; Mexican Americans; Promotoras; behavior change; community-based programs; culture / cultural competency; families / caregiving; health and well-being; health promotion; nutrition; physical activity; religion / spirituality; stress; visual methods; women’s health

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