A Multi-Year Mixed Methods Public Health Needs Assessment in Rural Honduras
Introduction: In Honduras, 58% of rural citizens are classified as living in extreme poverty, and a multitude of health problems accompany this extreme poverty. Taulabé is a municipality in rural Honduras where aid organizations are currently working. Before interventions can be planned to improve population health, there must be a deeper understanding of the public health problems in Taulabé, Honduras. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to gain an increased understanding of the public health needs in rural Honduras from the perspectives of patients and providers at a rural health clinic over three years. The goal of the study was to inform future efforts of various non-profit organizations who serve in the area. Methods and Materials: The study was set in rural Honduras, in Taulabé. Three years of clinic data regarding nutrition, fitness, communicable diseases, and education were collected and analyzed. Clinical data on height, weight and blood pressure were also collected. In 2018 clinic patients were also interviewed in order to give them an opportunity to voice their opinions about their own community’s health. Additionally, in 2019, one of the physicians who staffed the clinic was interviewed about their perspective of the health needs in rural Honduras. Results: Over the three years, 373 participants completed the surveys. Seventy nine surveys were completed in 2016, 194 in 2016, and 100 in 2018. The most common chief complaints were “cold and flu” (35.8%, 117/327), followed by stomach complaints including pain, diarrhea, and parasites (19.9%, 65/327), followed by head pain (19.9%, 65/327). The average body mass index (BMI) of patients was 30.9 kg/m2 and 38.0% were classified as obese (95/250). Fifty four percent (170/253) were classified as having stage one or two hypertension. Forty-two percent (112/264) reported eating processed foods (fries, fried street foods) weekly and over half do not eat recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables daily (50.2%, 132/263 and 68.8%, 181/264). Conclusions and Future Implications: Rural Hondurans could benefit from increased health education in the areas of cardiovascular health, communicable diseases, maternal and perinatal health, as well as nutritional education. Interventions such as, community health workers, nutrition education, and updated government policies are needed to assist Hondurans in improving personal and community health status.
McMains, Jennifer. (April 2021). A Multi-Year Mixed Methods Public Health Needs Assessment in Rural Honduras (Honors Thesis, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/9020.)
McMains, Jennifer. A Multi-Year Mixed Methods Public Health Needs Assessment in Rural Honduras. Honors Thesis. East Carolina University, April 2021. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/9020. June 17, 2021.
McMains, Jennifer, “A Multi-Year Mixed Methods Public Health Needs Assessment in Rural Honduras” (Honors Thesis., East Carolina University, April 2021).
McMains, Jennifer. A Multi-Year Mixed Methods Public Health Needs Assessment in Rural Honduras [Honors Thesis]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; April 2021.
East Carolina University