Culturally-Tailored Education Programs to Address Health Literacy Deficits and Pervasive Health Disparities among Hispanics in Rural Shelbyville, Kentucky. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVES: This investigation was conducted to evaluate the impact of culturally-tailored education on health knowledge among Hispanic residents of rural, Shelbyville, KY. DESIGN: The program identified specific pathways to address health literacy deficits and disparities identified through a community-wide health assessment completed in 2010. RESULTS: A total of 43 Hispanic males who shared deficiencies in community-wide health infrastructure were enrolled in the program. The curriculum included an introductory session followed by five, subject-specific, sessions offered on a weekly basis from February to April 2011. Pre/post-test assessments showed marked improvement in knowledge base for all participants after each session, most notably related to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. The group reconvened in January 2012 for follow-up instruction on cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as well as global assessment of knowledge retention over a nine-month period. Comparisons of pre/post testing in cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as well as global health-related knowledge showed significant gains for all parameters. CONCLUSIONS: Health education programs that embrace perceptions of the community of their own health, and that integrate knowledge into culturally-sensitive education, significantly improved health knowledge among Hispanic residents in rural Kentucky. Such gains may translate into sustainable improvements in health literacy and help reduce health disparities.

published proceedings

  • J Community Med Health Educ

author list (cited authors)

  • Ramos, I. N., Ramos, K. S., Boerner, A., He, Q., & Tavera-Garcia, M. A.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Ramos, Irma N||Ramos, Kenneth S||Boerner, Aisa||He, Qiang||Tavera-Garcia, Marco A

publication date

  • November 2013