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Optimization of culturally tailored health programs requires the consideration of eight domains of culture: language, persons, content, concepts, goals, methods, context, and metaphors. Current components of culture tailored weight loss programs for Hispanics include the use of Spanish language, dietary staples, and community educators. Dichos (culturally established Spanish metaphors) remain the only unexplored cultural dimension in the Hispanic weight loss literature. The cultural familiarity of dichos among Mexican-origin men may provide educators with an alternative and effective educational modality for this at-risk population.
The purpose of the present investigation was to explore the colloquial meanings and potential health application of dichos to develop a dichos-based weight loss curriculum for Mexican-origin men.
Study Design, Setting, Participants
Participants included 22 Mexican-origin men.
This mixed-methods study involved three phases: (I) Qualitative Exploration and Pile Sort of Dichos, (II) Curriculum Development, and (III) Formative Assessment. Phase I included interviews that explored the definition of 16 common dichos. Participants pile sorted each dicho into five possible health-related categories (Healthy Eating, Physical Activity, Motivation, Social Support, and Stress Management) and explained their sortation. Phase II included the integration of dichos into a curriculum using the DESIGN process. Community advisory board members provided feedback for curriculum refinement. Phase III involved a formative assessment wherein Mexican men rated curriculum sessions on a cultural appropriateness (5-point Likert scale), evaluated their pre and post test knowledge (%), and provided final feedback for curriculum refinement.
Mexican men successfully defined and contextualized dichos into health topics. The results suggest that dichos may help men understand abstract concepts (health information) with concrete examples (dichos). The final curriculum was rated >4.5 (Likert scale) and the average improvement in pre/post test scores was 19%.
This novel study provides proof of concept for the potential utility of dichos in culture tailored programs for Mexican men. Dichos may help educators improve their linguistic economy and promote cultural comradery to better reach this underrepresented Mexican population.
National Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
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