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Developing Technology to Support Family Caregivers of Latinos with Alzheimer’s Disease

January 2019 - December 2020

PI: Dr. Maggie Ramirez

Dr. Ramirez's K12 research study will leverage the existing infrastructure of an ongoing research study led by Dr. Robert Penfold at Kaiser Permanente Washington. The study is testing an evidence-based program that provides digital and self-directed educational materials to family caregivers of people with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD). The digital training materials teach family caregivers how to manage the mood and behavior challenges of their loved ones with ADRD. The aims of Dr. Ramirez's K12 study are to: (1) specify family caregiver requirements for the design of the digital training materials, (2) examine how to adapt the digital training materials to be culturally and linguistically appropriate for Latino family caregivers, and (3) assess family caregiver perceptions of the ease-of-use and usefulness of the digital training materials and how these perceptions influence acceptance of the program.

Remote Training in Evidence-Based Practices for Clinicians Who Work with Migrant Workers

May 2018 - April 2021

PI: Dr. Gino Aisenberg

This 3-year research project seeks to improve access to quality depression care for rural Latinos by addressing the shortage of Latinx paraprofessional providers who can deliver culturally tailored evidence-based treatment. In partnership with Heritage University and the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, we will provide specialized curriculum in mental health to 8-10 BASW students at Heritage University and train them in the use of a known effective telephone-based intervention for depression. We will test two training strategies: 1) the traditional approach and 2) a computerized approach and assess the effectiveness of these respective training approaches in equipping the paraprofessionals to reduce patient symptomatology. This grant is one of three projects of a center grant, UW ALACRITY Center for Psychosocial Interventions Research, led by Principal Investigator Dr. Pat Arean, Department of Psychiatry.

Related Citation:
  1. Dwight-Johnson, M., Aisenberg, E., Golinelli, D., Hong, S., O'Brien, M., & Ludman, E. (2011). Telephone-based cognitive-behavioral therapy for Latino patients living in rural areas: a randomized pilot study. Psychiatry Services, 62(8), 936-42.

Access to Labor and Industries Services Among Latino Workers in Central Washington

May 2018 - September 2019

PI: Dr. Leo Morales

In collaboration with the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I), this project seeks to identify the strengths and the barriers to accessing workers' compensation experienced by Latino workers residing in Central Washington. Previous research suggests an underutilization of L&I services by Latino workers in the state as well as differential patterns of outcomes for injured Latino workers. Through a series of 25-30 key informant interviews with Latino workers, providers, community advocates, and attorneys, this project will shed light on the Latino worker's experience in an effort to inform practices and policies that are culturally responsive to promote the well-being of rural Latinos.

Amigas Latinas Motivando el Alma (ALMA)

September 2017 - August 2022

PI: Dr. India Ornelas

Amigas Latinas Motivando el Alma (ALMA) is a group-based culturally responsive intervention to promote mental health among Latina immigrant women. The curriculum is designed to prevent and reduce depression and anxiety symptoms by increasing coping skills, building social cohesion, and decreasing stigma and barriers to mental health care. This multi-level intervention has been shown to reduce stress and depression among Latina immigrant women in several community samples in North Carolina and Washington State. This NIH funded five-year study will test the efficacy and feasibility of the ALMA intervention among Latina immigrant women using a group-randomized trial design. The first year of this study will include refining intervention and study materials based on findings from focus groups and cognitive interviews on immigration-related stressors and mental health needs of Latina immigrant women. Years 2-4 will assess the efficacy of the ALMA 8-week intervention in a trial of 200 participants at two community partner sites (El Centro de la Raza and Casa Latina) in western Washington.

Related Citations:
  1. Ryan, D., Maurer, S., Lengua, L., Duran, B., & Ornelas, I. J. (2018). Amigas Latinas Motivando el Alma (ALMA): an Evaluation of a Mindfulness Intervention to Promote Mental Health among Latina Immigrant Mothers. The journal of behavioral health services & research, 45(2), 280-291.
  2. Tran, A. N., Ornelas, I. J., Perez, G., Green, M. A., Lyn, M., & Corbie-Smith, G. (2014). Evaluation of Amigas Latinas Motivando el Alma (ALMA): A pilot promotora intervention focused on stress and coping among immigrant Latinas. Journal of immigrant and minority health, 16(2), 280-289.
  3. Tran, A. N., Ornelas, I. J., Kim, M., Perez, G., Green, M., Lyn, M. J., & Corbie-Smith, G. (2014). Results from a pilot promotora program to reduce depression and stress among immigrant Latinas. Health promotion practice, 15(3), 365-372.

Vida PURA: Brief Intervention to Address Unhealthy Alcohol Use Among Latino Day Laborers

Completed Summer 2017

PI: Dr. India Ornelas

Vida PURA (Puede Usted Reducir su consumo de Alcohol) is a culturally adapted intervention that involves promotores providing screening and brief intervention to reduce unhealthy alcohol use among Latino day laborers. Dr. India Ornelas and her team conducted formative research among Latino immigrant men at a Seattle-based day laborer center to assess community readiness and gain insight on how to adapt the established brief alcohol intervention for this population. This led to conducting a pilot randomized control trial to test the efficacy of the Vida PURA intervention and study protocols. Participants were screened for eligibility using the AUDIT. Those with an AUDIT score ≥ 6 completed a baseline survey and were randomized into an intervention or control group. Participants in the intervention group received a brief counseling including personalized feedback about their alcohol use and motivational interviewing to assess their readiness to change. Personalized feedback was provided by promotores, using a tablet screen to display the participants’ quantity of daily and weekly drinking. We conducted follow-up surveys two weeks and eight weeks following the baseline. We assessed recruitment, retention, and reach using logs and tracking forms. At 55 weeks of data collection, 69% of screened participants were eligible for the study and 121 baseline surveys were completed. Of those eligible, 50% had AUDIT scores ≥ 20, indicating dependence. Participant retention rates were 87% for the two-week survey and 88% for the eight-week follow-up. Initial results suggest that this study may increase access to SBI among an underserved population. Future research should assess the efficacy of Vida PURA to reduce unhealthy alcohol use, especially among those with high AUDIT scores.

Related Citations:
  1. Serrano, S.E., Sarafini, K., Donovan, D., Torres, V., and Ornelas, I. (2017) Vida PURA: An assessment of the fidelity of promotor-delivered screening and brief interventionto reduce unhealthy alcohol use among Latino day laborers. Journal of Ethnicity and Substance Abuse, 1-13.
  2. Ornelas, I., Torres, V., and Serrano, S.E. (2016) Patterns of Alcohol Use among Latino Day Laborers. Health Behavior and Policy Review, 3(4):361-370
  3. Ornelas, I., Allen, C., Vaughan, C., Negi, N., and Williams, E. (2015) Vida PURA: A Cultural Adaptation of Screening and Brief Intervention to Reduce Unhealthy Drinking among Latino Day Laborers. Substance Abuse, 36(3):264-271.