Examining associations between community health worker-rated health and mental health among Latino adults with chronic disease

Kiera Coulter, Maia Ingram, Abby M. Lohr, Melanie L. Bell, Scott Carvajal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Latinos with chronic disease often experience comorbid depression, but confront barriers to mental health treatment. Community health workers (CHWs) develop trusting relationships with the communities they serve, and may be uniquely positioned to identify Latinos with mental health care needs. Research has not examined whether their rating of clients’ health is indicative of their mental health. This mixed-methods study examines CHWs’ appraisals of Latino adults’ health and their relation to mental health outcomes, and explores factors informing CHWs’ rating of health status. The current study utilized baseline data from the Linking Individual Needs to Community and Clinical Services (LINKS) study. We assessed associations between CHW-rated health (CHWRH), or rating of health status as poor–excellent, and mental health outcomes with multilevel linear regression modelling. We qualitatively analyzed CHWs’ written perceptions of participants’ health status to understand what influenced their health rating. The quantitative results showed that CWHRH was significantly related to depressive symptoms and emotional problems severity. The qualitative results showed that CHWs took a holistic and ecological approach in rating health. The findings suggest that CHWRH could be indicative of mental health among Latino adults. Further studies investigating CHWRH as an independent indicator of mental health are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

Keywords

  • CHW-rated health
  • Community health workers
  • Latinos
  • Mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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