Date of Award


Document Type



College of Nursing

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Project Mentor

Bonnie Bowie


Elizabeth Gabzdyl


Background: Evidence shows community health workers (CHWs) can effectively deliver proven behavior change strategies to prevent chronic disease (CD) and enhance preventive care efforts in primary care. However, CHWs are still an unfamiliar term in healthcare and remain underutilized.

Objective: To determine whether providing education regarding the role of the CHW to PCPs can increase the use of CHWs within a health care clinic.

Setting: Primary Care Providers (PCPs) at an ambulatory primary care clinic in Washington State that is part of a research and learning/teaching (Academic) hospital and healthcare system.

Design: Guided by Wiedenbach’s Prescriptive Theory, this study features a PCP education intervention to determine if educating PCPs (n=7) influences the desire to utilize CHWs in their clinic. A five-item survey was collected pre, immediately post, and 30-days post education intervention. Surveys quantitative questions were analyzed nominally for raw data and the one qualitative question was analyzed via thematic analysis for themed patterns.

Key results: Seventy-one percent of respondents have heard of a CHW prior to receiving the education session as compared to 100% immediately following education and 86% 30 days post education session. Zero percent answered did not understand how a CHW could help manage PCPs patients prior to receiving education verses 86% immediately following the education session and 57% 30 days post education. One hundred percent of respondents agreed that PCPs need education concerning CHWs key features pre, post, and 30 days post education. Eighty-six percent of respondents would like to have a CHW as a part of their team prior to education compared to 100% immediately following and 30 days post education session.

Conclusions: The data collected from this project indicates the need for PCP education about the roles and responsibilities of CHWs. The data also concludes that once PCPs are educated concerning the roles and responsibilities of CHWs, the PCPs desire to utilize them within their healthcare system.