Results from a lay health advisor intervention to prevent lead poisoning among rural Native American children

Am J Public Health. 2004 Oct;94(10):1730-5. doi: 10.2105/ajph.94.10.1730.


Objectives: We tested the effectiveness of a community-based lay health advisor intervention for primary prevention of lead poisoning among Native American children who lived in a former mining area.

Methods: We conducted cross-sectional population-based blood lead assessments of Native American and White children aged 1 to 6 years and in-person caregiver interviews before (n=331) and after (n=387) a 2-year intervention.

Results: Mean childhood blood lead levels decreased and selected preventive behaviors improved for both Native American and White (comparison) communities. Several short-term outcomes also improved from pre- to postintervention, but only knowledge and hand-washing self-efficacy increased more among Native Americans than among Whites.

Conclusions: Our findings provide limited support for the effectiveness of lay health advisor interventions as a primary lead poisoning prevention strategy for Native American communities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Community Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Community Health Workers*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American*
  • Infant
  • Lead Poisoning / epidemiology
  • Lead Poisoning / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Mining
  • Oklahoma / epidemiology
  • Program Evaluation
  • Rural Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Rural Population