Impact of a community health worker program to support caregivers of children with special health care needs and address social determinants of health
Few studies have evaluated the effects of a community health worker (CHW) intervention on social determinants and caregiver distress. This study assesses the impact of a CHW program for caregivers of children with special health care needs (CSHCN) on these factors in addition to confidence in self-management. A retrospective, pre-post analysis was conducted for those who completed a CHW program. Caregivers reported high levels of distress, low educational attainment, linguistic isolation, positive depression screens, and food and housing issues at baseline. On completion of the program, there was significant improvement in caregiver distress scores ( P < .001) and in understanding of their children's diagnoses ( P < .001). Furthermore, the number of caregivers reporting food or housing issues was significantly reduced ( P < .01 and P < .01, respectively). This study demonstrates the feasibility and potential effects of a CHW intervention for CSHCN and highlights the need for a large-scale controlled trial to further evaluate impact.
Costich MA, Peretz PJ, Davis JA, Stockwell MS, Matiz LA. Impact of a community health worker program to support caregivers of children with special health care needs and address social determinants of health. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2019:9922819851263. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 31130003. DOI: 10.1177/0009922819851263.