Break the Cycle: Challenges and impacts in Latin American communities


Authors: Patricia M Valenzuela, M Rosario Moore, María Soledad Matus, María I Eugenin, Alejandra Nuñez-Palma, and Javiera Martínez-Gutiérrez
Page Range: 255-262
Published in: International Public Health Journal, 15#3 (2023)
ISSN: 1947-4989

Table of Contents


The Break the Cycle (BTC) program was developed to promote quality research focusing on underserved communities, for example covering prevalent issues that affect underserved communities in Latin America. Chilean studies: Three studies were developed with BTC support. The students were pediatric residents whose research topics were discussed with their Chilean mentors and the BTC team. The main results of these studies were the following: 1) Identification of increased awareness of indoor environmental risk factors for pediatric respiratory diseases in an underserved community: 50 families, 32% of children had past illnesses (87.5% asthma); 24% reported smoking happening in the home; 62% had animals living indoors. 2) Screening for autism; Community perspectives: We screened 200 children (16 to 30 months of age) with the M-CHAT and M-CHAT follow-up interview (MC-FUI) in middle-low and very low socioeconomic and vulnerable communities. 22% screened positive; 11.4% of them continued to be at risk after the MC-FUI. Two children were confirmed for ASD. 3) Measuring parenting dim-ensions and social and prosocial abilities in adolescents living in vulnerable families. 120 adolescents reported that most caregivers had an authoritative parenting style. There was a correlation between high parenting demandingness and monitoring, with high prosocial skills among adolescents. Conclusions: The BTC program created great opportunities for students and mentors to improve and expand their research by including the social determinants of health. Being more aware of social disparities helped them to focus on finding ways to break the cycle.

Keywords: Health disparities, children’s health, Chile, Latin America

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