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Education for Health

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Public health -- Research -- Citizen participation, Community health services -- Research -- Methodology, Community health services -- Oregon -- Multnomah County


Evaluations of Community Health Worker programs consistently document improvements in health, yet few articles clearly describe the roles of Community Health Workers (CHWs) from the CHWs' perspective. This article presents the CHWs' points of view regarding the various roles they played in a community-based participatory research (CBPR) project, Poder es Salud/Power for Health in Portland, Oregon, including their roles as community organizers and co-researchers. Methods: Authors draw from an analysis of transcript data from in-depth interviews conducted with CHWs to present a description of the strategies employed by the CHWs to build leadership skills and knowledge among community members. CHWs also discuss their own personal and professional development. Results: The analysis of the interviews suggests that CHWs valued their multiple roles with Poder es Salud/Power for Health and their participation on the project's Steering Committee. Based on CHWs' descriptions of their work, this type of involvement appears to build the CHWs' leadership skills and sense of efficacy to create change in their communities. Conclusion: By serving as community organizers and participating as producers of research, rather than acting merely as a deliverer of the intervention activities, the CHWs were able to build skills that make them more successful as CHWs.


This is the publisher's final PDF. © SA Farquhar, N Wiggins, YL Michael, G Luhr, J Jordan, A Lopez, 2008. Originally appeared in Education for Health

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