Community-based participatory research to promote healthy lifestyles among Latino immigrant families with youth with disabilities.

Research paper by Yolanda Y Suarez-Balcazar, Amy A Early, Ashley A Maldonado, Claudia P CP Garcia, Dalmina D Arias, Amalia A Zeidman, Alexander A Agudelo-Orozco

Indexed on: 04 Oct '18Published on: 04 Oct '18Published in: Scandinavian journal of occupational therapy


Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is an optimal approach that brings together community stakeholders, researchers and practitioners in an effort to understand and address social issues and health disparities experienced by vulnerable populations. Latino immigrant families in the United States with youth and young families with disabilities have experienced a number of barriers in gaining positive health outcomes. These families face challenges in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, placing them at high risk for obesity, diabetes, and other chronic health conditions. The purpose of this study was to develop a healthy lifestyles intervention in collaboration with Latino immigrant families with youth and young adults with disabilities using a CBPR approach, and to examine the impact of the intervention from participants' perspectives. Grounded in the principles of CBPR, we developed a partnership with community stakeholders to create a healthy lifestyles intervention aimed at meeting the needs of Latino families in the United States. During and following implementation of the intervention, we conducted focus groups with 12 intervention participants to examine the impact of the intervention. Participants identified the intervention program as meeting a need in the community and reported specific positive aspects related to health behaviors, social learning, inclusion, community participation, and peer advocacy. CBPR healthy lifestyle interventions are relevant to the needs of Latino immigrant families with youth and young adults with disabilities. Health professionals should involve community residents in the design of healthy lifestyles programming to ensure strategies for change are relevant and relatable.