Serving the Needs of the Latina Community for Health Information

R. A. Yaros, J. Roberts, E. Powers, L. Steiner


Latinos remain the largest US population with limited health literacy (Andrulis D.P. & Brach, 2007). Concerned with how local media can meet the information needs of underserved audiences, we interviewed Latinas who were pregnant or mothers of young children living in a Spanish speaking community, and surveyed 33 local health professionals. Findings are that Latina women’s most common source of health information was family and friends. They said they tune to Spanish television and radio programs, but gave low grades to news media for health information. Medical professionals agreed that Latinas generally get their health information through friends and family, and rated the media poorly in terms of serving Latinas’ needs. Since the data indicate that the local news media are not serving Latinas’ health information needs as much as they could, we offer recommendations to potentially exploit new technological affordances and suggest expansion of conventional definitions of health literacy.


health literacy, Latinas, news media, underserved, health communication

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