In the U.S., chronic diseases are the leading cause of death and disabilities. Racial/ethnic health disparities are prevalent particularly among Latino populations who bear a disproportionate burden of chronic diseases and disability when compared with non-Hispanic Whites. Given the size and rapid growth of this population, identifying key modifiable risk factors is critical to aid in chronic disease prevention efforts. The goal of this study is to assess Latino employee health needs and concerns, health behaviors/attitudes, and environmental/occupational exposures, to identify barriers and facilitators of chronic disease prevention and inform health promotion programs in worksite settings.
This study will use a sequential mixed methods design to assess the health needs of the Latino workforce in a university environment. The sequential mixed methods design includes a qualitative component (3-4 focus groups), which will inform a quantitative component (survey). Additionally, we will conduct location-based analyses of survey responses using geospatial information technology (GIS), including geospatial barriers analysis (e.g., assess the degree to which distance might be a barrier to workers seeking care). Our study population consists of self-identified Latino UMD employees in the following occupational categories: Facilities Management; Dining Facilities; and Residential Facilities. The research will be conducted by a multidisciplinary team with expertise in social and behavioral sciences (Dr. Garza: PI); environmental and occupational health sciences (Dr. Quirós-Alcalá: PI); geographic information science (Dr. Stewart: Co-I); and medical sociology (Dr. Zambrana: Co-I).