Over 60 million persons in the U.S. identify themselves as Latinx and 25.6% are children under the age of 16.
Surgical disparities for adults and children have been identified as a major problem in the US and can be
experienced at multiple points along a patient's health care trajectory. Data from our center indicates that a
substantial portion of Latinx children who undergo surgery experience high anxiety and postoperative pain as
well as postoperative impairments in psychological and physical functioning as compared to White non-Latin
children who undergo surgery. Recent growth in use of mobile devices provides us an opportunity to create low-
cost mHealth behavioral interventions to reduce this disparity in surgical outcomes.
In a previous NIH award, the PI developed and tested an evidence based mHealth tailored intervention
(WebTIPS) that aims to prepare and be a companion of a child and their family during a surgical event. WebTIPS
aims to enhance the recovery of the child in several ways such as reducing anxiety and pain and is based on
information provision, modeling, and teaching of coping skills. WebTIPS, however, was developed and validated
with a population of primarily White non-Latinx English-speaking children and their parents. Unfortunately, it is
well established that mHealth interventions are significantly less effective when used with specific ethnic
minorities unless they underwent a process of cultural adaptation. Over the past 4-years, we have established
multiple academic and community collaborations, conducted extensive participatory research with Latinx
stakeholders and used the heuristic framework and a modified ecological validity model to culturally adapt
WebTIPS. The culturally adapted intervention is called L-WebTIPS.
The overall aim of this application is to reduce surgical disparities in a population of Latinx children undergoing
surgery. The first phase of this application (R61) includes web programming of L-WebTIPS, conduct formative
evaluation and conduct feasibly RCT to test this intervention. The second phase (R33) includes a multi-center
RCT which aims to determine the effectiveness of L-WebTIPS compared to attention control intervention in
decreasing postoperative pain, opioids consumption and lowering anxiety in Latinx children undergoing
outpatient surgery. Secondary aims of the R33 include examining the impact of L-WebTIPS on home-based
clinical recovery parameters such as pain, analgesic requirements, new onset behavioral changes and return to
normal daily activity in Latinx children undergoing outpatient surgery. We also plan to determine if the use of L-
WebTIPS reduces anxiety and improve experience among the parents of Latinx children undergoing surgery.
Finally we plan to determine if the use of L-WebTIPS reduces anxiety and enhance experience among the
parents of Latinx children undergoing surgery. We submit that using a cultural adaption process for an existing
validated intervention will accelerate the process of reducing surgical disparities and bringing an effective
intervention to clinical settings and routine use.