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Mentor

Andiara Schwingel, Ph.D.

Major

Human Nutrition

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

This study explores the experience of community health workers―front line public health workers― who provide low-level health intervention as they are integrated into multidisciplinary teams of health professionals, under the constitution of Brazil’s Family Health strategy, a policy established in order to provide universal primary care in Brazil. Furthermore, this research looks into how the community health workers’ role in bridging the gap between the public health efforts and the commonwealth initiates health literacy and health practices within the community and the CHWs themselves. There is little to no research on the subject of community health workers’ physical or mental health, nor the position’s influence of these factors. This study will assess the influence of community health workers’ professional practices, education and culturally tailored education intervention programs like the AGITA program, on the individuals who actively work to implement health community and family orientation in their own society. Participants (n = 8) were recruited through working with the municipality and completed paper and pencil surveys in Portuguese. Data analysis utilized content analysis to identify themes. This study serves to analyze the behavior portrayed by community health workers and the potential shifts in their professional and personal practices related to physical and mental health resulting from their inclusion in establishing a sustainable delivery in health education and practices to local communities.

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