Rochester Healthy Community Partnership of Rochester, MN
Improving the health of underserved populations through proven methods and new ideas
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All Projects

Social Network Analysis (completed)

In 2015, RHCP completed the Healthy Immigrant Families (HIF) project, during which community and academic partners co-created an intervention that was delivered to 44 Hispanic, Somali and Sudanese families in their homes by bilingual interventionists. Results showed significant improvements in dietary quality for adults in the intervention arm compared with controls. There was also improvement in the control group, suggesting the presence of a “hidden” social network effect common to behavior change interventions. This led to the conception of the Healthy Immigrant Community (HIC) project. The overall objective of HIC is to use these existing connections to implement a social network intervention aimed at improving dietary behaviors among immigrant adults who are overweight and obese in Rochester, Minnesota.

The first phase of HIC is a social network analysis (SNA) to identify community peer interventionists and assess existing social structures that contribute to health behaviors among Hispanic and Somali adults at risk for cardiovascular disease.  RHCP partners completed 1,344 (653 Hispanic, 691 Somali) surveys to identify opinion leaders who may be recruited as interventionists, and to understand the association between network characteristics and dietary behavior to inform the development of the peer-delivered social network intervention to improve dietary behaviors and reduce body mass index (BMI) among adults who are overweight or obese. Community-wide dissemination of study results was accomplished through a community event at Rochester STEM Academy.

Results confirmed that obesity clusters by social networks in these communities. Plans are underway for a future social network intervention for healthy weight loss.



Mayo Clinic:  Office of Health Disparities Research
National Institutes of Health: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (R01 HL 111407)



Nate Nordstrom