• Con el favor de Diós: the role of promotoras/community lay health workers as spiritual helpers in supporting diabetes self-management among Mexican Americans

      Torres, Emma; Ingram, Maia; Campesinos Sin Fronteras; University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health (Peeters, 2009)
      There is evidence that individual spirituality positively impacts health behaviors and health status, as well as the ability to recover from illness. Among Latinos, spirituality and belief in God may serve as a cultural resource and a source of social support, as well as coping mechanism for disease-related stress. This article describes the results of a qualitative study investigating the role of the lay health worker, or promotora, in serving as a spiritual helper to Mexican Americans with diabetes. Results demonstrated the centrality of spirituality in the daily life of clients. Promotoras utilized the spiritual orientation of their clients to stress personal responsibility for self care in partnership with God, in communal sharing about how spiritual concepts can be applied to one’s life, and by serving as spiritual counselors in times of crisis. Findings have implications for programs serving Mexican American communities.