Several Texas communities along the Mexican border, including the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV), are home to low-income Hispanic populations, many of whom live in underserved communities known as colonias. These areas have high incidences of neurocognitive disorders, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease (AD); health care strategies that are culturally and linguistically appropriate for the area are needed. We aim to build capacity to reduce risk, facilitate treatment, and provide caregiver support for affected individuals. However, gaining trust of communities and presenting information about research studies in a way that is culturally appropriate is critical for engagement of underserved communities.
This brief report examines our work with local community health workers (CHWs), promotores in Spanish, to establish contact with, engage, mobilize, and educate the Hispanic communities of the LGRV. Lessons from the successful experience of training promotores in autism spectrum disorder in the LRGV highlight the importance of specifically addressing outreach in health fairs, clinic vists and referral as well as adequate selection, training, management, and support of the promotores as critical aspects. To initiate and sustain recruitment of older adults and care partners in research studies of AD and other dementias in the RGV, we have incorporated these aspects as components of the promotores training and engagement model, which has been developed and implemented by researchers and their colleagues at the School of Medicine at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
Garza, N., Uscamayta-Ayvar, M., & Maestre, G. E. (2020). Addressing Neurocognitive Disorders, Dementias, and Alzheimer’s Disease in Colonias of the Lower Rio Grande Valley: Establishing a Research Foundation Using Promotores. Ethnicity & Disease, 30(Suppl 2), 775–780. https://doi.org/10.18865/ed.30.S2.775
Ethnicity & Disease