Populations at Risk Across the Life-span: Population Studies
Health Promotores' Perceptions of their Communities' Health Needs, Knowledge, and Resource Needs in Rural Nicaragua
Article first published online: 26 AUG 2012
© 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Public Health Nursing
Volume 30, Issue 2, pages 94–105, March/April 2013
How to Cite
McDermott-Levy, R. and Weatherbie, K. (2013), Health Promotores' Perceptions of their Communities' Health Needs, Knowledge, and Resource Needs in Rural Nicaragua. Public Health Nursing, 30: 94–105. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1446.2012.01047.x
- Issue published online: 4 MAR 2013
- Article first published online: 26 AUG 2012
- community health workers;
- health promoters;
This study was conducted to determine rural Nicaraguan health promotores' perceptions of their community's health problems, their self-identified learning needs, and resource needs. Despite the valuable contributions of promotores, there is limited research regarding unpaid volunteer promotores' perceptions of their needs in providing care to remote communities.
Design and Sample
A qualitative descriptive study of 13 unpaid, volunteer promotores in Waslala, Nicaragua, was conducted.
Data were collected during individual interviews with seven promotores and two focus groups with 13 promotores. Data were analyzed by reading verbatim transcripts repeatedly and establishing general themes. Promotores confirmed the findings.
Waslalan promotores described a synergy of traditional folk health beliefs and natural practices along with use of modern medications while working to meet the health needs of their communities. Without much formal training, the promotores used public health strategies to influence health behaviors and address health disparities in the communities they serve. Serving their communities and God were their motivation in their work.
Recommendations include supporting efforts to meet promotores' needs regarding community health education with messages from community leaders and nurses, finding methods to financially compensate promotores, and including promotores in health program planning and evaluation.