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Heart Rate Variability clinical trials at UC Irvine

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  • The Heart of the Community Study

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    Community service providers (CSPs), such as promotores and other community health staff, play an essential role in preserving health and treating disease in underserved Hispanic/Latinx (HL) communities with disproportionately high rates of cardiometabolic (CM) disease. Although effective programs have been developed that deploy CSPs to reduce CM disease risk in the community, to our knowledge no interventions have sought to reduce CM risk among CSPs themselves. However, CSPs are also at high risk for adverse CM outcomes, as they have the same high-risk demographics as the communities they serve and they work in high-stress, frontline jobs. Reducing CM risk among HL CSPs is crucial to promote health at both the individual and community levels; that is, preventive interventions delivered to CSPs may not only promote the health of the individual CSPs who receive the intervention but also may bolster CSPs to more effectively deliver programming that protects CM health community-wide. The proposed study employs relational savoring (RS), a brief intervention rooted in positive psychology and attachment, which has previously been shown to promote psychosocial well-being and which is particularly efficacious in HL populations. Emerging research supports that RS may also promote more optimal cardiovascular regulation and health behavior. Therefore, the investigators deliver RS to CSPs in order to identify CM health protective effects for both CSPs and the high-risk communities they serve. Aims and Hypotheses: Aim 1: Examine effects of RS on CSPs' CM risk factors and outcomes. Hypotheses: RS (compared to wait-list control) will be associated with lower CM risk, as indexed by higher mean HRV, both during a stressor and at rest (H1A). RS will also be associated with a more favorable CM health behavior profile, indexed by higher quality sleep, more exercise, and healthier diet (H1B). Aim 2: Examine effects of RS on CSPs' delivery of CM health programming to the community. Hypotheses: RS will be associated both with reduced threats to CSPs leaving the workforce, including higher satisfaction with work, greater agency, and lower burnout (H2A), and with a higher number of community members reached for CM health programming, as indexed by number of days CSP worked, number of health-related events offered by CSPs, community attendance at events, and retention of community members across multi-day programs (H2B).

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