Beyond the Volcanoes

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Amy Cory




Nursing and Health Professions

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 5-4-2017


Background: Health inequities related to gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and geography exist in rural Nicaragua, due to various causative factors. One of these factors is the exposure of indoor air pollution to women and children from cooking over open fire stoves, resulting in increased rates of respiratory infections. The purpose of the ongoing research project of "Beyond the Volcanoes" is to combat this particular additive to the global burden of disease and improve health equity in rural Nicaragua through social transformation, using community-based participatory action research.

Methods: Prochaska’s transtheoretical model provides the theoretical foundation for the use of community-based participatory research methodology. This methodology involves six phases: partnership, assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination.

Results: Since 2007, the research team has implemented 200 stoves over 58 collective trips to the community in Nicaragua. Data reveals that the women in the community are anecdotally expressing improvements in health outcomes related to eye irritation, cough, chest illness, shortness of breath, and headache.

Conclusions: The results show that installing chimney-ventilated cook stoves has decreased symptoms previously experienced by community members who cooked over open fire stoves in the home.

Community, cookstove, global, public health, partner, air pollution

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Erica Marske is a nursing major at Valparaiso University and wanted to expand her experience in health-related issues beyond the United States. She joined the research team because she was interested in partnering with the community in Nicaragua and educating them about interventions to improve their respiratory status. This is her second year on the research team and first year traveling to the community in Nicaragua.

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