Factors that Motivate Hispanics to Attend Church-Based Health Interventions




Sanchez, Mary-Katherine


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Sanchez, Mary-Katherine, Factors that Motivate Hispanics to Participate in Church-Based Health Interventions. Doctor of Public Health (Social and Behavioral Sciences), May 2006, 80 p.p., 1 table, bibliography, 62 titles. One of the most important demographic trends taking place in the United States today is the rapid growth of the Hispanic/Latino population (Kostin, 2004). Hispanics are the fastest-growing minority group in the United States (Documet Sharma, 2004; United States Census Bureau, 2003). This rapid growth will have a major impact on social, political and economic issues as well as on the health of the people in the United States (Kostin, 2004). Throughout the country, church-based health interventions are being offered to individuals of differing cultural and ethnic backgrounds, however, retention of participants is often low. The purpose of this qualitative research study was to determine the roles that social and behavioral factors play in motivating Hispanics to attend church-based health interventions. The study used qualitative methods. Focus groups were conducted at two church sites that were participants in the fall 2005 American Heart Association De Corazon a Corazon program with the highest retention rate of participating parishes. Both focus groups were audio-recorded, and recordings and field notes were then used to translate and transcribe the collected data. All data were entered into NVivo and coded to identify important themes and concepts. Results identified key identified motivating factors that included familiarity with setting, desire to improve health, need to gain information, knowing others in the group, social and motivational factors, monetary benefits such as free health screenings and workshops and questions being answered in Spanish. It was determined that social factors play a major role in motivating Hispanics to attend church-based health interventions. Through increasing our knowledge of motivational factors and influences on Hispanics to attend a church-based intervention, more effective health prevention and intervention programs can be designed and implemented in an effort to better reach this growing minority population and lessen the burden of minority health disparities. This is an area of research that needs to be further examined in order to prevent growing health disparities among the Hispanic population.