Researchers train promotoras to combine mobile technology, cancer prevention messages
In an effort to increase cancer prevention education in the Hispanic population, researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) will use cutting-edge mobile technology to provide information that encourages nutritious eating and physical activity.
Leading the project is Belinda Reininger, Dr.PH., associate professor of health promotion and behavioral sciences at The University of Texas School of Public Health Brownsville Regional Campus, part of UTHealth.
"The goal of this project is to see how this technology can be used and to what extent we can impact behavior change related to cancer and obesity in our audience," said Reininger, who will work with trained community health workers, or promotoras, to disseminate messages focusing on preventive behaviors for colorectal and breast cancer.
Reininger and colleagues were recently awarded a $500,000 grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), which will help fund the training of the promotoras in five Texas counties where health needs are high. Those counties are Webb, Galveston, Nueces, Hidalgo and Cameron.
"We have excellent partners in these counties who are implementing innovative prevention strategies reaching low-income Hispanic populations," Reininger said. The School of Public Health has been working with promotoras since 2003 to provide health education to communities throughout Texas.
Intel's World Ahead Program is donating Intel-powered convertible classmate PCs and providing technical support to the project team. Reininger said the donation and support will facilitate promotoras in delivering informative presentations at more personalized home visits. "Intel is thrilled to support the efforts to increase health education," said Mike Gann, director of Intel's World Ahead Healthcare Program.
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