Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 398–407 | Cite as

Institutional Barriers and Strategies to Health Promotion: Perspectives and Experiences of Cape Verdean Women Health Promoters

Original Paper

Abstract

Background Health promoters are critical resources in improving health care access and in providing culturally-responsive health education and interventions to members of medically underserved communities. Little is known about the barriers that impede their health-promoting practices and the strategies used to overcome these barriers. Methods In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine Cape Verdean women health promoters to examine their perspectives on barriers and strategies to health promotion. Results Findings revealed how their health promotion practice is influenced by a host of institutional barriers, including insufficient program funding, restrictive institutional policies, and a lack of culturally and linguistically appropriate health resources. Adaptive and resistant strategies used to counterbalance these barriers included forming supportive internal and external alliances, having a good mentor, and “making noise.” Discussion A complete and effective model of health promotion must embrace not only individual-level factors, but also macro-level factors, thus emphasizing the need for institutional change to enhance health-promoting practices.

Keywords

Health promotion Cape Verdean immigrant women Health promoters Barriers Strategies 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Society, Human Development, and Health and Dana Farber Cancer InstituteCenter for Community-Based ResearchBostonUSA
  2. 2.BostonUSA

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