Predictors and a framework for fostering community advocacy as a community health worker core function to eliminate health disparities

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Abstract

Objectives. Using a mixed-method, participatory research approach, we investigated factors related to community health worker (CHW) community advocacy that affect social determinants of health. Methods. We used cross-sectional survey data for 371 CHWs to assess demographics, training, work environment, and leadership qualities on civic, political, and organizational advocacy. We present advocacy stories to further articulate CHW activities. The data reported are from the recently completed National Community Health Workers Advocacy Study. Results. CHWs are involved in advocacy that is community-focused, although advocacy differs by intrinsic leadership, experience, training, and work environment. We propose a framework to conceptualize, support, and evaluate CHW advocacy and the iterative processes they engage in. These processes create opportunities for community voice and action to affect social and structural conditions that are known to have wide-ranging health effects on communities. Conclusions. The framework presented may have utility for CHWs, their training programs, and their employers as well as funders and policymakers aiming to promote health equity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Volume103
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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