Research interests, experience, and training of Community Health Workers: a mixed Method Approach

Authors: K. G. Klein, C. M. Tucker, W. A. Ateyah, D. Fullwood, Y. Wang, E. T. Bosworth, & L. O. Schueler
Year: 2022
State: NatDoc: National Document
Website link:
Publicly Available: Yes
Certification: CHW role scope of practice, Continuing education, General other, Process and development, Specialty tracks and supervisor training
Evidence Generation: All, Evidence-based interventions
Workforce Development: CHW training programs (not cert.), General other (including mention of “employment practices”), Training- Content modes delivery

The Affordable Care Act includes a call for community health care workers (CHWs) to be integrated into health care delivery systems to improve health care quality. In recent years, there have been increasing calls for community-based participatory research (CBPR) and patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR), as such types of research hold much potential for identifying interventions to reduce health and health care disparities. Yet, little is known about the research training, knowledge, experience, and even interest of CHWs in these types of research or in health research in general (HR). Thus, the purposes of this study include determining if there are differences between participating CHWs (N = 202) in their levels of training, knowledge, experience, and interest in relation to CBPR, PCOR, and HR. Findings suggest that certified CHWs, as compared to non-certified CHWs, have significantly higher knowledge levels across all three types of research (β = 1.3, p = .007). Additionally, participants had significantly higher knowledge of HR compared to CBPR (β = 0.5, p = .015), but not higher than their knowledge of PCOR (p > .5). Qualitative data analyses performed to determine research areas of interest among the participating CHWs resulted in eighteen major research interest themes. Examples of these major themes are chronic illness (n = 95), health promotion (n = 39), healthcare services and administration (n = 30), mental health (n = 29), and research evaluation and methodology (n = 26). Together, the findings suggest that though CHWs have an interest in a wide range of health research areas, they could benefit from research trainings tailored to their responsibilities and interests.

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