Tailoring Lay Health Worker Interventions for Diverse Cultures: Lessons Learned from Vietnamese and Latina Communities
AbstractIndigenous lay health workers are presumed to be effective communicators in their communities due to their cultural competence. Lay health worker programs in Vietnamese and Latino communities show the influence of each community's culture and structure on the intervention designs and recruitment and training of lay health workers. To promote cancer screening, Vietnamese lay health workers conducted educational sessions in neighborhoods, while Latina lay health workers served as networkers and media role models. The studies demonstrated ways to build upon cultural strengths of the community and to tailor interventions to meet community expectations and needs. The authors conclude that ongoing responsiveness to both cultural norms and structural conditions in the community is the sine qua non of successful community programs.