Patient-level predictors of extent of exposure to a community health worker intervention in a randomized controlled trial

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Objective: Community health worker (CHW) interventions have been cited as a best practice for reducing health disparities, but patient-level attributes may contribute to differential uptake. We examined patient characteristics associated with the extent of exposure to a CHW coaching intervention among a predominantly low-income, African American population participating in a randomized controlled trial of hypertension interventions. Design: We conducted a within-group longitudinal analysis of those receiving a CHW intervention from a study conducted between September 2003 and August 2005. We employed mixed effects models to ascertain relationships between patients' characteristics, length of time spent with the CHW, and the number of topics discussed during the intervention. Setting: Baltimore, MD Participants: 140 patients with a diagnosis of hypertension in the CHW intervention arm. Results: Marital status, stress, depression symptomology, and having multiple comorbid conditions were each independently and positively related to the length of time patients spent with CHWs. An indirect relationship between higher perceived physical health and time spent with the CHW was observed. Patients with multiple comorbid conditions discussed more intervention-related topics, while patients who perceived themselves as being healthier discussed fewer topics. Marital status and extreme poverty were the strongest predictors of the length of time spent with the CHW, while having multiple comorbid conditions was the strongest predictor of the number of coaching topics discussed. Conclusions: Differential exposure to a CHW intervention is influenced by patients' physical, psychosocial, and sociodemographic characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-266
Number of pages6
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • Community Health Workers
  • Health Disparities
  • Hypertension
  • Intervention Exposure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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