Building on the Strengths of a Cambodian Refugee Community Through Community-Based Outreach

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Literature and practice are limited on strategies to reach elder Southeast Asian refugees by using their strengths and resilience. This article presents the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-funded Cambodian Community Health 2010 Program in Lowell, Massachusetts, as a case example. It provides refugee history, project background, community survey results about strengths and risks, literature on Strengths-Based Approaches, outreach activities, and evaluation. The focus is elimination of health disparities in cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Key findings highlight involving elders in organizing events, avoiding reliance on literacy, integrating health promotion with socialization, using ties with Buddhist temples, developing transportation alternatives, and utilizing local Khmer language media. Implications include applicability to other refugee communities with low literacy, high levels of trauma, limited English, and strong religious involvement.

Access Free Abstract


Grigg-Saito, D., Och, S., Liang, S., Toof, R., & Silka, L. (2008). Building on the strengths of a Cambodian refugee community through community-based outreach.  Health Promotion Practice,  9(4), 415-425.

About This Study:

Intervention(s): Strengths-Based Approaches
Intervention Duration: Ongoing
Relevant ORR Program: Ethnic Community Self-Help Program, Preferred Communities, Refugee Health Promotion, Refugee Support Services, Services to Older Refugees
Study Type: Suggestive evidence
Full Text Availability: Paid
Direction of Evidence: Positive impact
Strength of Evidence: Suggestive
Population(s): Refugees
Gender(s) of Participants: All
Age(s) of Participants: Older Adults
Region(s) of Origin of Participants: Asia - East

Relevant Evidence Summaries:

The evidence was reviewed and included in the following summaries: