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Invited Commentary
December 2018

How Community Health Workers Can Affect Health Care

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA Intern Med. 2018;178(12):1643-1644. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.4626

Interventions that seek to improve patient health among marginalized populations by addressing the social determinants of health have received increasing emphasis in recent years. The expanding understanding that health is deeply affected by nonmedical aspects of life has stimulated the integration of community health workers (CHWs) into health care delivery. These CHWs have been variably shown to help improve patient knowledge regarding disease processes, affect behavioral change, reduce health care system costs, and improve health outcomes, although these outcomes have not been shown consistently across studies and there is great heterogeneity among these interventions.1,2

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