By Caring for Myself I Can Care for Others

Primary Practice

Health education intervention for Latina mothers with peer health promoters (promotoras)


“By caring for myself…” is a culturally tailored intervention that aims to deliver health education to Latina caretakers of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Latina mothers of children with IDD face more chronic health conditions compared to Latina mothers who do not have these caregiving responsibilities.

This intervention utilizes the “promotores de salud model”, that is, engaging peer leaders who are indigenous to the target community and can serve a bridge between the target community and the service system. This is coupled with Bandura’s self-efficacy theory. Two promotoras (peer health promoters who themselves are mothers of children with IDD) hold 6 two-hour workshops where up to 10 parents attend. These workshops elaborate on following topics: the importance of self-care, health care utilization and navigation, well-being activities, nutrition, physical activity, depression and stress, including others and social support, and sustaining personal growth

Promotoras implement performance accomplishment, vicarious experiences, verbal persuasion and emotional states in the educational sessions in order to develop self-efficacy throughout the health education.

Target Population(s)

Caregivers of children and adolescents with disabilities or special health care needs, caregivers of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.


The program has been implemented primarily in Chicago with funding from the Midwest Roybal Center for health Promotion and Translation and Illinois Department of Public Health.


Improve health behaviors of Latina mothers of youths and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Evidence of Outcomes

Evidence-Informed Practice. Magaña, Li, Miranda, & Sayu (2015) conducted an evaluation of the program with 90 caregivers using an experimental design with a randomed control group. Intervention participants showed greater increases between pre- and post-test in health-related self-efficacy; self-care, nutrition and overall health behaviors. Both groups reported decreases in depressive symptoms and caregiver burden.


Magaña, S., Li, H., Miranda, E., & Sayu, R. P. (2015). Improving health behaviours of Latina mothers of youths and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 59(5), 397-410.