Community Health Program Improves Diet, Depressive Symptoms Among Latina Mothers

JULY 15, 2018
New findings suggest that community health programs can result in significant improvements in dietary practices and the indigence of depressive symptoms among Latina mothers at risk for type 2 diabetes.

Investigators randomized pregnant, Spanish-speaking women to 2 groups: an intervention group, to receive pregnancy education and work with the community health workers, and a control group, to receive only the pregnancy education. The intervention group underwent 10 weeks of group meetings—9 during pregnancy—coupled with 10 optional activity days, as well as a quartet of 1-on-1 home visits—2 during pregnancy and 2 postpartum. Meanwhile, the control group had 3 group meetings during pregnancy, and 1 postpartum.

Results revealed that, in comparison with the control group, the intervention group’s consumption of vege- table servings increased 41.9% and their fiber intake increased by 15.9%. Additionally, comparatively, their consumption of added sugars decreased by 16.1% and their total fake intake dropped 12.9%, while their satu- rated fat intake decreased 15.7%, their calories from saturated fat dropped 1.1%, and their caloric intake from solid fats and added sugars dropped 9.4%.

In a subgroup of Spanish-only speaking patients, consisting of 80% of the total patient group, a similar result was shown—with a reduction in CES-D scores of 2.53 from baseline to postpartum in the intervention group, as compared to a decrease of only 0.45 for the control group.

Although the trial was not powered for it, there was a 6% difference in the prevalence of gestational diabetes, which impacts an estimated 11% of the Latinas and complicates between 2% and 3% of births in that patient population.

The investigators concluded that this model is both successful and potentially adaptable to prenatal and postpartum care in health centers, medical homes, and in community settings.

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