The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence rates for cervical, breast, and colorectal cancer screening among American Indian and Alaska Native people living in Alaska and in the Southwest US, and to investigate predictive factors associated with receiving each of the cancer screening tests.
We used the Education and Research Towards Health (EARTH) Study to measure self-reported cancer screening prevalence rates among 11,358 study participants enrolled in 2004–2007. We used prevalence odds ratios to examine demographic, lifestyle and medical factors associated with receiving age- and sex-appropriate cancer screening tests.
The prevalence rates of all the screening tests were higher in Alaska than in the Southwest. Pap test in the past 3 years was reported by 75.1% of women in Alaska and 64.6% of women in the Southwest. Mammography in the past 2 years was reported by 64.6% of women aged 40 years and older in Alaska and 44.0% of those in the Southwest. Colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy in the past 5 years was reported by 41.1% of study participants aged 50 years and older in Alaska and by 11.7% of those in the Southwest US. Multivariate analysis found that location (Alaska versus the Southwest), higher educational status, income and the presence of one or more chronic medical condition predicted each of the three screening tests. Additional predictors of Pap test were age (women aged 25–39 years more likely to be screened than older or younger women), marital status (ever married more likely to be screened), and language spoken at home (speakers of American Indian Alaska Native language only less likely to be screened). Additional predictors of mammography were age (women aged 50 years and older were more likely to be screened than those aged 40–49 years), positive family history of breast cancer, use of smokeless tobacco (never users more likely to be screened), and urban/rural residency (urban residents more likely to be screened). Additional predictors of colonoscopy/sigmoidoscopy were age (men and women aged 60 years and older slightly more likely to be screened than those aged 50–59 years), family history of any cancer, family history of colorectal cancer, former smoking, language spoken at home (speakers of American Indian Alaska Native language less likely to be screened), and urban/rural residence (urban residents more likely to be screened).
Programs to improve screening among American Indian and Alaska Native people should include efforts to reach individuals of lower socioeconomic status and who do not have regular contact with the medical care system. Special attention should be made to identify and provide needed services to those who live in rural areas, and to those living in the Southwest US.
Papanicolaou test; Mammography; Colon cancer screening; American Indian; Alaska Native
Among Alaska Native women residing in the Yukon-Kuskokwim (Y-K) Delta region of Western Alaska, about 79% smoke cigarettes or use smokeless tobacco during pregnancy. Treatment methods developed and evaluated among Alaska Native pregnant tobacco users do not exist. This pilot study used a randomized two-group design to assess the feasibility and acceptability of a targeted cessation intervention for Alaska Native pregnant women.
Recruitment occurred over an 8-month period. Enrolled participants were randomly assigned to the control group (n = 18; brief face-to-face counseling at the first visit and written materials) or to the intervention group (n = 17) consisting of face-to-face counseling at the first visit, four telephone calls, a video highlighting personal stories, and a cessation guide. Interview-based assessments were conducted at baseline and follow-up during pregnancy (≥60 days postrandomization). Feasibility was determined by the recruitment and retention rates.
The participation rate was very low with only 12% of eligible women (35/293) enrolled. Among enrolled participants, the study retention rates were high in both the intervention (71%) and control (94%) groups. The biochemically confirmed abstinence rates at follow-up were 0% and 6% for the intervention and control groups, respectively.
The low enrollment rate suggests that the program was not feasible or acceptable. Alternative approaches are needed to improve the reach and efficacy of cessation interventions for Alaska Native women.
Several studies have shown that Alaska Native people have higher smoking prevalence than non-Natives. However, no population-based studies have explored whether smoking-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors also differ among Alaska Native people and non-Natives.
We compared current smoking prevalence and smoking-related knowledge, attitudes, and behavior of Alaska Native adults living in the state of Alaska with non-Natives.
We used Alaska Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data for 1996 to 2010 to compare smoking prevalence, consumption, and cessation- and second-hand smoke-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors among self-identified Alaska Native people and non-Natives.
Current smoking prevalence was 41% (95% CI: 37.9%–44.4%) among Alaska Native people compared with 17.1% (95% CI: 15.9%–18.4%) among non-Natives. Among current every day smokers, Alaska Natives were much more likely to smoke less than 10 cigarettes per day (OR=5.0, 95% CI: 2.6–9.6) than non-Natives. Compared with non-Native smokers, Alaska Native smokers were as likely to have made a past year quit attempt (OR=1.4, 95% CI: 0.9–2.1), but the attempt was less likely to be successful (OR=0.5, 95% CI: 0.2–0.9). Among current smokers, Alaska Natives were more likely to believe second-hand smoke (SHS) was very harmful (OR=4.5, 95% CI: 2.8–7.2), to believe that smoking should not be allowed in indoor work areas (OR=1.9, 95% CI: 1.1–3.1) or in restaurants (OR=4.2, 95% CI: 2.5–6.9), to have a home smoking ban (OR=2.5, 95% CI: 1.6–3.9), and to have no home exposure to SHS in the past 30 days (OR=2.3, 95% CI: 1.5–3.6) than non-Natives.
Although a disparity in current smoking exists, Alaska Native people have smoking-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors that are encouraging for reducing the burden of smoking in this population. Programs should support efforts to promote cessation, prevent relapse, and establish smoke-free environments.
smoking; smoking cessation; Alaska Native people; disparities; indigenous populations
The high rates of cancer among American Indians and Alaska Natives are of growing concern.
In response to high cancer rates, national, state, and tribal organizations have worked to assess knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and screening practices related to cancer in American Indian and Alaska Native communities and to increase awareness and use of cancer screening. The National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (NCCCP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is one such effort. NCCCP's comprehensive cancer control (CCC) planning process provides a new approach to planning and implementing cancer control programs. The CCC process and components for American Indians and Alaska Natives are not yet fully understood because this is a fairly new approach for these communities. Therefore, the purpose of our case study was to describe the CCC process and its outcomes and successes as applied to these communities and to identify key components and lessons learned from the South Puget Intertribal Planning Agency's (SPIPA's) CCC planning and community mobilization process.
We used interviews, document reviews, and observations to collect data on SPIPA's CCC planning and community mobilization process.
We identified the key components of SPIPA's CCC as funding and hiring key staff, partnering with outside organizations, developing a project management plan and a core planning team, creating community cancer orientations, conducting community cancer surveys, developing a community advisory committee, ongoing training and engaging of the community advisory committee, and supporting the leadership of the communities involved.
The CCC planning process is a practicable model, even for groups with little experience or few resources. The principles identified in this case study can be applied to the cancer control planning process for other tribes.
Alaska Native people have nearly twice the rate of colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence and mortality as the US White population.
Building upon storytelling as a culturally respectful way to share information among Alaska Native people, a 25-minute telenovela-style movie, What's the Big Deal?, was developed to increase CRC screening awareness and knowledge, role-model CRC conversations, and support wellness choices.
Alaska Native cultural values of family, community, storytelling, and humor were woven into seven, 3–4 minute movie vignettes. Written post-movie viewing evaluations completed by 71.3% of viewers (305/428) were collected at several venues, including the premiere of the movie in the urban city of Anchorage at a local movie theater, seven rural Alaska community movie nights, and five cancer education trainings with Community Health Workers. Paper and pencil evaluations included check box and open-ended questions to learn participants' response to a telenovela-style movie.
On written-post movie viewing evaluations, viewers reported an increase in CRC knowledge and comfort with talking about recommended CRC screening exams. Notably, 81.6% of respondents (249/305) wrote positive intent to change behavior. Multiple responses included: 65% talking with family and friends about colon screening (162), 24% talking with their provider about colon screening (59), 31% having a colon screening (76), and 44% increasing physical activity (110).
Written evaluations revealed the telenovela genre to be an innovative way to communicate colorectal cancer health messages with Alaska Native, American Indian, and Caucasian people both in an urban and rural setting to empower conversations and action related to colorectal cancer screening. Telenovela is a promising health communication tool to shift community norms by generating enthusiasm and conversations about the importance of having recommended colorectal cancer screening exams.
storytelling; Alaska Native; telenovela; colorectal cancer screening; health communication; Community Health Workers
Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine prevents cervical pre-cancers and cancers caused by HPV types 16 and 18. This study provides information on the HPV types detected in cervical cancers of Alaska Native (AN) women.
Cases of invasive cervical cancer diagnosed in AN women aged 18 and above between 1980 and 2007 were identified from the Alaska Native Tumor Registry. A representative formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded archived pathology block was retrieved and serially sectioned to allow histologic confirmation of lesion (first and last sections) and PCR testing of intervening sections. Extracted DNA was tested for HPV using Linear Array HPV Genotyping Test (Roche Diagnostics) with additional INNO-LiPA HPV Genotyping Assay (Innogenetics) testing on negative or inadequate specimens. All specimens were tested for a minimum 37 HPV types.
Of 62 cervical cancer specimens evaluated, 57 (91.9%) contained one or more HPV types. Thirty-eight (61.2%) cancers contained HPV types 16 or 18, and 18 (29%) contained an oncogenic type other than type 16 or 18.
Overall, almost two-thirds (61.2%) of the archived cervical cancers had detectible HPV types 16 or 18, a finding similar to studies of US women. As expected, a proportion of cancers would not be prevented by the current vaccines. HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening are important prevention strategies for AN women.
Alaska Native; HPV; cervical cancer; HPV genotypes
The authors collected and analyzed cancer incidence data for Alaska Natives (Indians, Eskimos, and Aleuts) for the 15-year period 1969-83 by ethnic and linguistic groups. Compared with U.S. whites, observed-to-expected ratios are high in more than one ethnic group for cancer of the nasopharynx, salivary gland, liver, gallbladder, and cervix. Low ratios were found for cancer of the breast, uterus, bladder, and melanoma. In Alaska, Eskimos have the highest risk for cancer of the esophagus and liver and the lowest risk for breast and prostate cancer. Risk for multiple myeloma in Indian men in Alaska exceeds not only those of other Native groups in Alaska but that in U.S. whites as well. Despite the short period studied, increases in cancer incidence over time can be documented for lung cancer in Eskimo men and women combined, and for cervical cancer, especially in Indian women.
OBJECTIVES: Cervical cancer mortality rates among the American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) population in North and South Dakota were five times the national average (15.6 per 100,000 vs. 3.1 per 100,000, age adjusted) when last evaluated (from 1989 through 1993). Our goals were to update the AI/AN population cervical cancer mortality rates and to present incidence rates for AI/AN women in the region. METHODS: We reviewed charts for women diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer at Indian Health Service (IHS) facilities in North and South Dakota from 1994 through 1998 and collected information about cervical cancer screening and treatment history. Incidence and mortality rates were standardized to the 1970 U.S. population. RESULTS: Twenty-one cases of invasive cervical cancer and eight deaths were identified. Annualized incidence and mortality rates were 11.5 per 100,000 and 4.5 per 100,000. These compare with national all-race/ethnicity rates of 8.5 per 100,000 and 2.7 per 100,000 for incidence and mortality. Fifteen (71%) of 21 cases were diagnosed due to symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: While cervical cancer mortality rates have declined, incidence and mortality rates among AI/AN women remain higher than in the general U.S. population. Increased use of pap tests and careful follow-up of abnormal results should be aggressively promoted among AI/AN women in North and South Dakota.
Tobacco cessation interventions developed and evaluated for Alaska Native women do not exist. As part of routine clinical care provided at a prenatal visit, a brief tobacco educational intervention for Alaska Native pregnant women (N=100; mean ± SD age = 25.9±6.2 years; mean 6.3±2.6 months gestation) was piloted at the Y-K Delta Regional Hospital in Bethel, Alaska. This retrospective study reports on the evaluation of this clinical program. The intervention was consistent with the clinical practice guidelines (i.e., 5 A’s – ask, advise, assess, assist, arrange), with an average duration of 20.2 ± 6.8 minutes. The self-reported tobacco abstinence rate following the intervention was 11% at the last prenatal visit and 12% at delivery. Delivering a tobacco cessation intervention at a prenatal visit is feasible, but there is a need to identify more effective interventions for Alaska Native pregnant women.
Tobacco cessation; tobacco use; Alaska Native; pregnancy
We described prevalence estimates of high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV), HPV types 16 and 18, and abnormal Papanicolaou (Pap) smear tests among American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) women compared with women of other races/ethnicities.
A total of 9,706 women presenting for cervical screening in a sentinel network of 26 clinics (sexually transmitted disease, family planning, and primary care) received Pap smears and HR-HPV type-specific testing. We compared characteristics of 291 women self-identified as AI/AN with other racial/ethnic minority groups.
In our population, AI/AN and non-Hispanic white (NHW) women had similar age- and clinic-adjusted prevalences of HR-HPV (29.1%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 23.9, 34.3 for AI/AN women vs. 25.8%, 95% CI 24.4, 27.2 for NHW women), HPV 16 and 18 (6.7%, 95% CI 3.9, 9.6 for AI/AN women vs. 8.8%, 95% CI 7.9, 9.7 for NHW women), and abnormal Pap smear test results (16%, 95% CI 11.7, 20.3 for AI/AN women vs. 14.9%, 95% CI 13.7, 16.0 for NHW women). AI/AN women had a higher prevalence of HR-HPV than Hispanic women, and a similar prevalence of HPV 16 and 18 as compared with Hispanic and African American women.
We could not demonstrate differences in the prevalence of HR-HPV, HPV 16 and 18, or abnormal Pap smear test results between AI/AN and NHW women. This finding should improve confidence in the benefit of HPV vaccine and Pap smear screening in the AI/AN population as an effective strategy to reduce rates of cervical cancer.
Colorectal cancer is a great concern for the American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) community, as incidence and mortality rates remain high and screening rates stay low. We conducted interviews with community leaders (n=13) and with providers from the Indian Health Service (IHS), tribal clinics, and urban safety-net clinics (n=17) in Northeast Kansas and the Kansas City Metro Area to determine their understanding of needs and barriers to colorectal cancer screening among American Indians. Using a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach for this pilot study, community leaders and providers identified similar needs, including: culturally-appropriate education about colorectal cancer and screenings, the potential use of Native elders as patient navigators, and an emphasis on preventive care, particularly through the IHS. Barriers included culturally specific issues such as historic mistrust and gender roles. Other barriers are similar to members of other ethnic groups, such as cost, transportation, fear, and repulsion toward the screening process.
American Indian; colorectal cancer screening; barriers to care; community-based participatory research
Helicobacter pylori infection is more common in Alaska Native persons than in the general U.S. population, with seroprevalence to H. pylori approaching 75%. Previous studies in Alaska have demonstrated elevated proportions of antimicrobial resistance among H. pylori isolates. We analyzed H. pylori data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's sentinel surveillance in Alaska from January 2000 to December 2008 to determine the proportion of culture-positive biopsy specimens with antimicrobial resistance from Alaska Native persons undergoing endoscopy. The aim of the present study was to monitor antimicrobial resistance of H. pylori isolates over time and by region in Alaska Native persons. Susceptibility testing of H. pylori isolates to metronidazole, clarithromycin, amoxicillin, and tetracycline was performed using agar dilution. Susceptibility testing for levofloxacin was performed by Etest. Overall, 45% (532/1,181) of persons undergoing upper endoscopy were culture positive for H. pylori. Metronidazole resistance was demonstrated in isolates from 222/531 (42%) persons, clarithromycin resistance in 159/531 (30%) persons, amoxicillin resistance in 10/531 (2%) persons, and levofloxacin resistance in 30/155 (19%) persons; no tetracycline resistance was documented. The prevalence of metronidazole, clarithromycin, and levofloxacin resistance varied by region. Female patients were more likely than male patients to demonstrate metronidazole (P < 0.05) and clarithromycin (P < 0.05) resistance. No substantial change in the proportion of persons with resistant isolates was observed over time. Resistance to metronidazole, clarithromycin, and levofloxacin is more common among H. pylori isolates from Alaska Native persons than those from elsewhere in the United States.
In 1999, An Oral Health Survey of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Dental Patients found that 79% of 2- to 5-year-olds had a history of tooth decay. The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium in collaboration with Alaska's Tribal Health Organizations (THO) developed a new and diverse dental workforce model to address AI/AN oral health disparities.
This paper describes the workforce model and some experience to date of the Dental Health Aide (DHA) Initiative that was introduced under the federally sanctioned Community Health Aide Program in Alaska. These new dental team members work with THO dentists and hygienists to provide education, prevention and basic restorative services in a culturally appropriate manner.
The DHA Initiative introduced 4 new dental provider types to Alaska: the Primary Dental Health Aide, the Expanded Function Dental Health Aide, the Dental Health Aide Hygienist and the Dental Health Aide Therapist. The scope of practice between the 4 different DHA providers varies vastly along with the required training and education requirements. DHAs are certified, not licensed, providers. Recertification occurs every 2 years and requires the completion of 24 hours of continuing education and continual competency evaluation.
Dental Health Aides provide evidence-based prevention programs and dental care that improve access to oral health care and help address well-documented oral health disparities.
dental workforce; dental mid-level providers; dental therapist
Carcinoma of the cervix is the second most common cancer in women worldwide, while it is the commonest cancer among Indian women. Awareness regarding cervical cancer and its prevention is quite low amongst Indian women. The Pap test is a simple and cost effective technique for early diagnosis of cervical cancer. It is necessary to make nursing staff aware of cervical cancer, so that they can impart knowledge regarding cervical cancer and its prevention to the general public.
Aims and objectives:
(1) To assess the knowledge level regarding symptoms, risk factors, prevention and screening of cervical carcinoma among nursing staff. (2) To find out the behaviour of respondents regarding prevention and screening of cervical carcinoma.
Materials and methods:
A cross-sectional interview-based survey regarding knowledge levels about cervical carcinoma was conducted among the nursing staff from one of the tertiary health institutes of Ahmedabad, India. A structured questionnaire with multiple choices was used for data collection. Provision for open-ended responses was also made in the questionnaire. Department-wise stratification was carried out, and thereafter 15% of the total nursing staff from all departments were selected randomly so as to include a total of 100 nurses in the current study. Data entry was done in Microsoft Excel. SPSS statistical software was used to generate statistical parameters like proportion, mean, standard deviation, etc. The Z test was used as a test of significance, and a P value of <0.05 was considered as the level of significance.
cervical cancer; knowledge; nursing staff; PAP test
The purpose of this study was to provide estimates for the prevalence of reproductive cancer risk factors among Alaska Native (AN) women who enrolled in the Alaska Education and Research Towards Health (EARTH) Study from 2004 to 2006.
A total of 2,315 AN women 18 years or older completed reproductive health questions as part of a comprehensive health history questionnaire. The reproductive health section included menstrual status (age at menarche and menopause), pregnancy and live birth history, use of hormonal contraception, hormone replacement therapy, and history of hysterectomy and/or oophorectomy.
A total of 463 (20%) of women experienced menarche before age 12 with a decline in mean age at menarche by age cohort. More than 86% had been pregnant (mean number of pregnancies, 3.8; mean number of live births, 2.9). More than one half of women (58%) had their first live birth between the ages of 18 and 24. Almost 28% of participants had completed menopause, of whom 24% completed menopause after age 52. Fewer than half (43%) reported ever using hormone replacement therapy. Almost two thirds (62%) reported ever using oral contraceptives, and fewer reported ever using birth control shots (30%) or implants (10%).
This study is unique in reporting reproductive health factors among a large group of AN women. These data show that AN women have selective protective factors for reproductive cancers, including low nulliparity rates, low use of menopausal estrogens, and common use of contraceptive hormones. However, analysis by age cohorts indicates decreasing age at menarche that might increase the risk for reproductive cancers among AN women in the future.
This study analyzed self-reported tobacco use among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) people enrolled in the Education and Research Towards Health Study in Alaska (n = 3,821) and the Southwest United States (n = 7,505) from 2004 to 2006.
Participants (7,060 women and 4,266 men) completed a computer-assisted self-administered questionnaire on cigarette and smokeless tobacco (ST) use.
Current use of cigarettes was considerably higher in Alaska than in the Southwest United States (32% vs. 8%). Current ST use was also more common in Alaska than in the Southwest United States (18% vs. 8%). Additionally, smoking was more common among men, younger age, those who were not married, and who only spoke English at home, while ST use was more common among men, those with lower educational attainment and those who spoke an AI/AN language at home (p < .01). Compared with the U.S. general population, AI/AN people living in Alaska were more likely and those living in the Southwest United States were less likely to be current smokers. Rates of ST use, including homemade ST, in both regions were much higher than the U.S. general population.
Tobacco use among AI/AN people in the Southwest United States, who have a tradition of ceremonial tobacco use, was far lower than among Alaska Native people, who do not have a tribal tradition. Tobacco use is a key risk factor for multiple diseases. Reduction of tobacco use is a critical prevention measure to improve the health of AI/AN people.
Alaska Native people are disproportionately impacted by tobacco-related diseases in comparison to non-Native Alaskans.
We used Alaska’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to describe tobacco use among more than 4,100 Alaska Native adults, stratified by geographic region and demographic groups.
Overall tobacco use was high: approximately 2 out of every 5 Alaska Native adults reported smoking cigarettes (41.2%) and 1 in 10 reported using smokeless tobacco (SLT, 12.3%). A small percentage overall (4.8%) reported using iq’mik, an SLT variant unique to Alaska Native people. When examined by geographic region, cigarette smoking was highest in remote geographic regions; SLT use was highest in the southwest region of the state. Use of iq’mik was primarily confined to a specific area of the state; further analysis showed that 1 in 3 women currently used iq’mik in this region.
Our results suggest that different types of tobacco use are epidemic among diverse Alaska Native communities. Our results also illustrate that detailed analysis within racial/ethnic groups can be useful for public health programme planning to reduce health disparities.
Alaska/epidemiology; Smoking/epidemiology; Prevalence; Smoking/ethnology; Indians; North American; Tobacco; smokeless
This community-based intervention study examines the impact of Cancer 101, a cancer education resource developed in collaboration with American Indians/Alaska Natives to improve cancer knowledge, action regarding cancer control in tribal settings, and survival rates for members of their communities. Pre/post-surveys used to assess knowledge, attitudes, perceived benefits and future activities at baseline, immediately post-training, and at 4–6 months. Participants demonstrated significant change in knowledge, attitude, and cancer control activities. Cancer 101 provides a critical pathway to increase knowledge and promote action to reduce the burden and improve survival of cancer within tribal communities.
Cancer knowledge; Cancer control; Tribal setting
Breast cancer incidence and mortality have been increasing among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) women, and their survival rate is the lowest of all racial/ethnic groups. Nevertheless, knowledge of AI/AN women’s breast cancer screening practices and their correlates is limited.
Using the 2003 California Health Interview Survey, we 1) compared the breast cancer screening practices of AI/AN women to other groups and 2) explored the association of several factors known or thought to influence AI/AN women’s breast cancer screening practices.
Compared to other races, AI/AN women had the lowest rate of mammogram screening (ever and within the past 2 years). For clinical breast exam receipt, Asian women had the lowest rate, followed by AI/AN women. Factors associated with AI/AN women’s breast cancer screening practices included older age, having a high school diploma or some college education, receipt of a Pap test within the past 3 years, and having visited a doctor within the past year.
Significant differences in breast cancer screening practices were noted between races, with AI/AN women often having significantly lower rates. Integrating these epidemiological findings into effective policy and practice requires additional applied research initiatives.
breast cancer screening; American Indian or Alaska Native; women’s health
To assess knowledge of and attitudes towards human papillomavirus (HPV), Pap testing, and the HPV vaccine.
In a multicenter U.S. cohort study, women with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and at-risk comparison women completed 44-item standardized self-report questionnaires exploring their knowledge of cervical cancer prevention, HPV, and HPV vaccination. Results were correlated with demographic variables, measures of education and attention, and medical factors. Data were clustered using principal component analysis. Significant associations were assessed in multivariable models.
Among 1588 women, HIV seropositive women better understood facts about cervical cancer prevention and HPV than seronegative women, but both had substantial knowledge deficits. Almost all women considered Pap testing important, although 53% of HIV seropositive and 48% of seronegative women considered cervical cancer not preventable (P=0.21). Only 44% of HIV seropositive women knew Paps assess the cervix, versus 42% of HIV seronegative women (P=0.57). Both groups understood that HPV causes genital warts and cervical cancer (67% of HIV seropositive vs. 55% of seronegative women, P=0.002). About half of both groups considered HPV vaccination extremely important for cervical cancer prevention. HIV seronegative women were more likely to report learning of HPV vaccination through advertising than from clinicians (81% vs. 64%, P<0.0001).
High risk women need effective education about cervical cancer prevention, HPV, and HPV vaccination.
HPV; Cervical cancer prevention; Pap test; Health education; HIV in women
This study tests for the efficacy of a school-based drug prevention curriculum (Think Smart) that was designed to reduce use of Harmful Legal Products (HLPs, such as inhalants and over-the-counter drugs), alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs among fifth- and sixth-grade students in frontier Alaska. The curriculum consisted of 12 core sessions and 3 booster sessions administered 2 to 3 months later, and was an adaptation of the Schinke life skills training curriculum for Native Americans. Fourteen communities, which represented a mixture of Caucasian and Alaska Native populations in various regions of the state, were randomly assigned to intervention or control conditions. Single items measuring 30-day substance use and multi-item scales measuring the mediators under study were taken from prior studies. Scales for the mediators demonstrated satisfactory construct validity and internal reliability. A pre-intervention survey was administered in classrooms in each school in the fall semester of the fifth and sixth grades prior to implementing the Think Smart curriculum, and again in the spring semester immediately following the booster session. A follow-up survey was administered 6 months later in the fall semester of the sixth and seventh grades. A multi-level analysis found that the Think Smart curriculum produced a decrease (medium size effect) in the proportion of students who used HLPs over a 30-day period at the 6 month follow-up assessment. There were no effects on other drug use. Further, the direct effect of HLPs use was not mediated by the measured risk and protective factors that have been promoted in the prevention field. Alternative explanations and implications of these results are discussed.
Youths' harmful legal product use; School-based prevention; Randomized trial; Alaska
Because of their broad geographic distribution, diverse ownership and operation, and funding instability, it is a challenge to develop a framework for studying substance abuse treatment programs serving American Indian and Alaska Native communities at a national level. This is further complicated by the historic reluctance of American Indian and Alaska Native communities to participate in research.
Objectives and Methods
We developed a framework for studying these substance abuse treatment programs (n = 293) at a national level as part of a study of attitudes toward, and use of, evidence-based treatments among substance abuse treatment programs serving AI/AN communities with the goal of assuring participation of a broad array of programs and the communities that they serve.
Because of the complexities of identifying specific substance abuse treatment programs, the sampling framework divides these programs into strata based on the American Indian and Alaska Native communities that they serve: (1) the 20 largest tribes (by population); (2) urban AI/AN clinics; (3) Alaska Native Health Corporations; (4) other Tribes; and (5) other regional programs unaffiliated with a specific AI/AN community. In addition, the recruitment framework was designed to be sensitive to likely concerns about participating in research.
Conclusion and Scientific Significance
This systematic approach for studying substance abuse and other clinical programs serving AI/AN communities assures the participation of diverse AI/AN programs and communities and may be useful in designing similar national studies.
Indians; North American; substance abuse treatment centers; research methods
West Virginia is the only state that lies entirely within Appalachia. West Virginians tend to be poorer and more likely to lack health insurance than the general U.S. population. The purpose of this qualitative study was to 1) obtain an understanding of attitudes about breast and cervical cancer screening among women aged 25 to 64 years; 2) determine factors that motivate women to be screened for breast and cervical cancer; and 3) evaluate educational materials about breast and cervical cancer screening for use in this population.
The West Virginia Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program (WVBCCSP) is a comprehensive public health program, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dedicated to removing barriers to breast and cervical cancer screening and providing screenings to underserved women aged 25 to 64 years. The program partnered with RMS Strategies, Inc, to conduct six focus groups in three communities in West Virginia. Women were recruited by telephone based on program eligibility guidelines.
Results indicated that women were concerned about health care costs and lack of health insurance. Cost, fear, and embarrassment were identified as the top barriers to breast and cervical cancer screening. Participants believed that community-based educational campaigns would increase screening and promote use of the WVBCCSP.
Understanding why low-income Appalachian women do not get screened for breast and cervical cancer and determining motivational factors that encourage screening are important to increase screening rates among this population. Breast and cervical cancer efforts that use the words, knowledge, and suggestions of the women they serve are more likely to be effective and have a larger impact.
While the primary goal of the NW Alaska Native maternal transport is safe deliveries for mothers from remote villages, little has been done to question the impact of transport on the mothers and communities involved. This study explores how presence of Iñupiat values influences the desire of indigenous women of differing eras and NW Alaska villages to participate in biomedical birth, largely made available by a tribal health-sponsored transport system.
This paper portrays how important it is (and why) for Alaska Native families and women of different generations from various areas of Iñupiat villages of NW Alaska to get to the hospital to give birth. This research asks: How does a community's presence of Iñupiat values influence women of different eras and locations to participate in a more biomedical mode of birth?
Theoretical frameworks of medical anthropology and maternal identity work are used to track the differences in regard to the maternal transport operation for Iñupiat mothers of the area. Presence of Iñupiat values in each of the communities is compared by birth era and location for each village. Content analysis is conducted to determine common themes in an inductive, recursive fashion.
A connection is shown between a community's manifestation of Iñupiat cultural expression and mothers’ acceptance of maternal transport in this study. For this group of Iñupiat Eskimo mothers, there is interplay between community expression of Iñupiat values and desire and lengths gone to by women of different eras and locations.
The more openly manifested the Iñupiat values of the community, the more likely alternative birthing practices sought, lessening the reliance on the existing transport policy. Conversely, the more openly western values are manifested in the village of origin, the less likely alternative measures are sought. For this study group, mothers from study villages with openly manifested western values are more likely to easily acquiesce to policy, and “make the best” of their prenatal travel.
Alaska Native birth; embodiment; indigenous birth; Iñupiat values; maternal identity work; maternal transport policy; women-centred ethnography
Current mortality rates are essential for monitoring, understanding and developing policy for a population's health. Disease-specific Alaska Native mortality rates have been undergoing change.
This article reports recent mortality data (2004–2008) for Alaska Native/American Indian (AN/AI) people, comparing mortality rates to US white rates and examines changes in mortality patterns since 1980.
We used death record data from the state of Alaska, Department of Vital Statistics and SEER*Stat software from the National Cancer Institute to calculate age-adjusted mortality rates.
Annual age-adjusted mortality from all-causes for AN/AI persons during the period 2004–2008 was 33% higher than the rate for US whites (RR=1.33, 95% CI 1.29–1.38). Mortality rates were higher among AN/AI males than AN/AI females (1212/100,000 vs. 886/100,000). Cancer remained the leading cause of death among AN/AI people, as it has in recent previous periods, with an age-adjusted rate of 226/100,000, yielding a rate ratio (RR) of 1.24 compared to US whites (95% CI 1.14–1.33). Statistically significant higher mortality compared to US white mortality rates was observed for nine of the ten leading causes of AN/AI mortality (cancer, unintentional injury, suicide, alcohol abuse, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD], cerebrovascular disease, chronic liver disease, pneumonia/influenza, homicide). Mortality rates were significantly lower among AN/AI people compared to US whites for heart disease (RR=0.82), the second leading cause of death. Among leading causes of death for AN/AI people, the greatest disparities in mortality rates with US whites were observed in unintentional injuries (RR=2.45) and suicide (RR=3.53). All-cause AN/AI mortality has declined 16% since 1980–1983, compared to a 21% decline over a similar period among US whites.
Mortality rates and trends are essential to understanding the health of a population and guiding policy decisions. The overall AN/AI mortality rate is higher than that of US whites, although encouraging declines in mortality have occurred for many cause specific deaths, as well as for the overall rate. The second leading cause of AN/AI mortality, heart disease, remains lower than that of US whites.
Native American; unintentional injury; suicide; death; vital statistics