Despite evidence of the importance of cervical cancer screening, screening rates in the United States remain below national prevention goals. Women in the Appalachia Ohio region have higher cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates along with lower cancer screening rates. This study explored Appalachian Ohio women’s expectations about Pap test cost and perceptions of cost as a barrier to screening.
Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 571 women who were part of a multilevel observational community-based research program in Appalachia Ohio. Eligible women were identified through 14 participating health clinics and asked questions about Pap test cost and perceptions of cost as a barrier to screening. Estimates of medical costs were compared to actual costs reported by clinics.
When asked about how much a Pap test would cost, 80% of the women reported they did not know. Among women who reportedly believed they knew the cost, 40% overestimated test cost. Women who noted cost as a barrier were twice as likely to not receive a test within screening guidelines as those who did not perceive a cost barrier. Further, uninsured women were more than 8.5 times as likely to note cost as a barrier than women with private insurance.
While underserved women in need of cancer screening commonly report cost as a barrier, these findings suggest that women may have a very limited and often inaccurate understanding about Pap test cost. Providing women with this information may help reduce the impact of this barrier to screening.
Pap test; disparities; perception of cost; access; cost barriers; underserved populations; Appalachia; cancer screening
With no information on tobacco use for lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) populations in West Virginia (WV), it is unclear if nationally-identified LGB tobacco disparities also exist in this State. To address this data gap, we conducted a community tobacco survey in bars and events associated with the WV Pride Parade and Festival. Trained community surveyors used electronic and paper survey instruments in bars (n = 6) in three WV cities and community events associated with the WV Pride Parade and Festival. We analyzed results from 386 completed surveys from self-identified LGB individuals. Tobacco use among LGB bar patrons and LGB attendees at Pride-affiliated events was elevated (45%), as was current cigarette use (41%). Users of cigars and chewing tobacco were frequently dual users of cigarettes, with 80% and 60% reporting dual use, respectively. A substantial disparity likely exists in tobacco use among LGB West Virginians. Targeted interventions addressing tobacco use among LGB West Virginians are warranted in these venues, and the addition of a demographic question on sexual orientation would improve data collection and monitoring of this disparity.
homosexuality; tobacco use; West Virginia
An 18-month intervention was implemented to increase breast and cervical cancer screening among poor African-American women in Chicago. Breast and cervical cancer screening programs were set up in two public clinics, one community-based and the other hospital-based. Nurse clinicians and public health workers were used in these programs to recruit women in the clinics and in targeted community institutions to receive free breast and cervical cancer screening. The following barriers were specifically addressed by the intervention: accessibility of screening, knowledge about breast and cervical cancers, access to followup screening examinations, and access to treatment. A computerized followup system was specifically designed to track patients. During the 18 months of the intervention, 10,829 visits were made by 7,654 low-income women. A total of 84 cases of breast cancer and 9 cases of cervical cancer were detected. Awareness of the program, as measured by a survey after the completion of the intervention, increased in both clinics compared with baseline results. Knowledge about breast and cervical cancers also increased, as measured by scores on tests given before and after a class on breast and cervical cancers. Followup rates were 86 percent for women attending the programs. More than 90 percent of the women referred for evaluation of breast abnormalities kept an appointment. In summary, the intervention was successful in reducing barriers to breast and cervical cancer detection and in attracting a high-risk group of women.
Objective. Vietnamese American women are at the greatest risk for cervical cancer but have the lowest cervical cancer screening rates. This study was to determine whether demographic and acculturation, healthcare access, and knowledge and beliefs are associated with a prior history of cervical cancer screening among Vietnamese women. Methods. Vietnamese women (n = 1450) from 30 Vietnamese community-based organizations located in Pennsylvania and New Jersey participated in the study and completed baseline assessments. Logistic regression analyses were performed. Results. Overall levels of knowledge about cervical cancer screening and human papillomavirus (HPV) are low. Factors in knowledge, attitude, and beliefs domains were significantly associated with Pap test behavior. In multivariate analyses, physician recommendation for screening and having health insurance were positively associated with prior screening. Conclusion. Understanding the factors that are associated with cervical cancer screening will inform the development of culturally appropriate intervention strategies that would potentially lead to increasing cervical cancer screening rates among Vietnamese women.
To examine the extent to which the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (Program) has helped to meet the mammography screening needs of underserved women.
Low-income, uninsured women aged 40–64 are eligible for free mammography screening through the Program. We used data from the U.S. Census Bureau to estimate the number of women eligible for services. We obtained the number of women receiving Program-funded mammograms from the Program. We then calculated the percentage of eligible women who received mammograms through the Program.
In 2002–2003, of all U.S. women aged 40–64, approximately 4 million (8.5%) had no health insurance and had a family income below 250% of the federal poverty level, meeting Program eligibility criteria. Of these women, 528,622 (13.2%) received a Program-funded mammogram. Rates varied substantially by race and ethnicity. The percentage of eligible women screened in each state ranged from about 2% to approximately 79%.
Although the Program provided screening services to over a half-million low-income, uninsured women for mammography, it served a small percentage of those eligible. Given that in 2003 more than 2.3 million uninsured, low-income, women aged 40–64 did not receive recommended mammograms from either the Program or other sources, there remains a substantial need for services for this historically underserved population.
Breast cancer; Mammography screening; Screening rates; Medically underserved
To assess HPV vaccine acceptability, focus groups of women (18–26 years), parents, community leaders, and healthcare providers were conducted throughout Ohio Appalachia. Themes that emerged among the 23 focus groups (n=114) about the HPV vaccine were: barriers (general health and vaccine specific), lack of knowledge (cervical cancer and HPV), cultural attitudes, and suggestions for educational materials and programs. Important Appalachian attitudes included strong family ties, privacy, conservative views, and lack of trust of outsiders to the region. There are differences in HPV vaccine acceptability among different types of community members highlighting the need for a range of HPV vaccine educational materials/programs to be developed that are inclusive of the Appalachian culture.
HPV vaccine; cervical cancer; health disparities
We conducted a focus group study to assess the influence of partner communication on breast and cervical cancer screening and the perceived existing and potential support from male partners in participating in cancer screening. Secondarily, Mexican male and female views on health care and cancer were explored.
Seven focus groups (two female-only, three male-only, and two couples) were conducted in Spanish.
Findings suggest that knowledge about cervical cancer was significantly less than knowledge about breast cancer among both men and women. Barriers to cancer screening included language barriers, lack of health insurance, and lack of awareness of the need for screening. Male partners expressed willingness to support their female partners in cancer screening activities.
Cervical cancer education is desperately needed, including education on the availability of free and low cost screening services. Education efforts should include the male community members, especially as the males perceive themselves as responsible for the financial burden of care.
Cervical cancer; Breast cancer; Screening; Mexican-American; Male involvement; Access to care
The National Cancer Screening Program (NCSP) began in 1999. In this report, we evaluate the results of the NCSP for cervical cancer in 2009 and provide participation rates in an organized cervical cancer screening program in Korea.
Using data obtained from the National Cancer Screening Information System, cervical cancer screening participation rates were calculated. Recall rates, defined as the proportion of abnormal cases among women screened, were also estimated with 95% confidence intervals.
The target population of cervical cancer screening in 2009 included 4,577,200 Korean women aged 30 and over, 1,349,668 of whom underwent the Papanicolaou smear test (29.5% participation rate). Compared with the participation rate of women covered by the National Health Insurance Program (31.3%), the participation rate of women covered by the Medical Aid Program was lower (18.4%). Participation rates also varied in different age groups (the highest of 39.3% in women aged 50 to 59 and the lowest of 14.4% in those aged 70 and older), and different areas (the highest of 34.1% in Busan and the lowest of 21.5% in Chungnam). The overall recall rate for cervical cancer screening was 0.41% (95% confidence interval, 0.40 to 0.42).
According to our study, efforts to facilitate participation and reduce disparities in cervical cancer screening among Korean women are needed.
Age distribution; Health insurance; Korea; Mass screening; Uterine cervical neoplasms
Cancer-related disparities in the Appalachian region of the U.S. are described as an example of the disparities experienced by underserved predominantly white, rural populations. Appalachia Community Cancer Network activities designed to intervene on these disparities are presented.
There are meaningful cancer-related disparities in the Appalachian region of the U.S. To address these disparities, the Appalachia Community Cancer Network (ACCN), a collaboration of investigators and community partners in five states (Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia), is involved in increasing cancer education and awareness, conducting community-based participatory research (CBPR), and creating mentorship and training opportunities. The primary objective of this paper is to describe cancer-related disparities in the Appalachian region of the U.S. as an example of the disparities experienced by underserved, predominantly white, rural populations, and to describe ACCN activities designed to intervene regarding these disparities. An ACCN overview/history and the diverse activities of ACCN-participating states are presented in an effort to suggest potential useful strategies for working to reduce health-related disparities in underserved white populations. Strengths that have emerged from the ACCN approach (e.g., innovative collaborations, long-standing established networks) and remaining challenges (e.g., difficulties with continually changing communities, scarce resources) are described. Important recommendations that have emerged from the ACCN are also presented, including the value of allowing communities to lead CBPR efforts. Characteristics of the community-based work of the ACCN provide a framework for reducing health-related disparities in Appalachia and in other underserved white and rural populations.
Disparities; Appalachia; Cancer
In medically underserved regions such as Appalachia, cervical cancer incidence and mortality are higher than the general U.S. population; therefore, it is important for pediatricians to encourage parents to have their daughters vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV). Unfortunately, little is known about the predictors of pediatricians’ encouragement of the HPV vaccine among medically underserved populations. The current study compared attitudes and behaviors of pediatricians with practices in Appalachia with those in non-Appalachia to identify potential strategies for reducing health disparities.
A survey was conducted with 334 pediatricians located in Appalachia and non-Appalachia counties to examine how prior behavior, perceived susceptibility, severity, self-efficacy, response-efficacy, and behavioral intentions are related to self-reported vaccine encouragement.
Pediatricians in Appalachia perceived their patients to be less susceptible to HPV and reported lower rates of HPV encouragement than pediatricians in non-Appalachia. In addition, self-efficacy had a significant indirect association with vaccine encouragement for pediatricians in non-Appalachia.
This study’s findings emphasize the importance of increasing Appalachian pediatricians’ awareness of their patients’ susceptibility to HPV. Broader efforts to increase encouragement of the HPV vaccine among pediatricians should focus on promoting self-efficacy to encourage the HPV vaccine to parents of young females.
Breast and cervical cancer are common among Latinas, but screening rates among foreign-born Latinas are relatively low. In this article we describe the design and implementation of a theory-based (PEN-3) outreach program to promote breast and cervical cancer screening to Latina immigrants, and evaluate the program’s effectiveness.
We used data from self-administered questionnaires completed at six annual outreach events to examine the sociodemographic characteristics of attendees and evaluate whether the program reached the priority population – foreign-born Latina immigrants with limited access to health care and screening services. To evaluate the program’s effectiveness in connecting women to screening, we examined the proportion and characteristics of women who scheduled and attended Pap smear and mammography appointments.
Among the 782 Latinas who attended the outreach program, 60% and 83% had not had a Pap smear or mammogram, respectively, in at least a year. Overall, 80% scheduled a Pap smear and 78% scheduled a mammogram. Women without insurance, who did not know where to get screening and had not been screened in the last year were more likely to schedule appointments (p < 0.05). Among women who scheduled appointments, 65% attended their Pap smear and 79% attended the mammogram. We did not identify significant differences in sociodemographic characteristics associated with appointment attendance.
Using a theoretical approach to outreach design and implementation, it is possible to reach a substantial number of Latina immigrants and connect them to cancer screening services.
Cancer screening; community-based participatory research; program evaluation; Latina immigrants
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) will increase insurance coverage for US citizens and for breast and cervical cancer screening through insurance expansions and regulatory changes. The primary objective of this study was to estimate the number of low-income women who would gain health insurance after implementation of the ACA and thus be able to obtain cancer screening. A secondary objective was to estimate the size and characteristics of the uninsured low-income population and the number of women who would still need National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) services.
We used the nationally representative 2009 American Community Survey to estimate the determinants of insurance status for women in Massachusetts, assuming full implementation of the ACA. We extrapolated findings to simulate the effects of the ACA on each state. We used individual-level predicted probabilities of being uninsured to generate estimates of the number of women who would gain health insurance after implementation of the ACA and to predict demand for NBCCEDP services.
Approximately 6.8 million low-income women would gain health insurance, potentially increasing the annual demand for cancer screenings initially by about 500,000 mammograms and 1.3 million Papanicolaou tests. Despite a 60% decrease in the number of low-income uninsured women, the NBCCEDP would still serve fewer than one-third of the estimated number of women eligible for services. The NBCCEDP-eligible population would comprise a larger number of women with language and literacy-related barriers to care.
Implementation of the ACA would increase insurance coverage and access to cancer screening for millions of women, but the NBCCEDP will remain essential for the millions who will remain uninsured.
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women in Sudan, with more than two-thirds of all women with invasive cervical cancer being diagnosed at an advanced stage (stages III and IV). The lack of a screening program for cervical cancer in Sudan may contribute to the late presentation of this cancer, but other factors potentially associated with advanced stages of cervical cancer at diagnosis are unknown. The purpose of this research was to investigate the relationship between age, marital status, ethnicity, health insurance coverage, residence in an urban vs a rural setting, and stage (at diagnosis) of cervical cancer in Sudan.
This was a cross sectional study of 197 women diagnosed with different stages of cervical cancer. Data was obtained from the cancer registry unit at the Radiation and Isotopes Centre in Khartoum for all women diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2007.
There was an association between older age and advanced stage (at diagnosis) of cervical cancer (odds ratio [OR]: 1.03, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.01–1.05). Being of African ethnicity was associated with 76% increased odds (OR: 1.76, 95% CI: 1.01–3.05), living in a rural area was associated with 13% increased odds (OR: 1.13, 95% CI: 1.78–5.50), and being uninsured was associated with an almost eight-fold increase in odds (OR: 7.7, 95% CI: 3.76–15.38). Marital status and education level were not associated with an advanced stage of cervical cancer at diagnosis.
Women with cervical cancer who are elderly, not covered by health insurance, of African ethnicity, and living in a rural area are more likely to be diagnosed at an advanced stage of cervical cancer in Sudan. These women should be targeted for cervical cancer screening and a health education program, and encouraged to have health insurance.
predictors; cervical cancer; diagnosis; advanced; health insurance; Sudan
Cervical cancer is the first most common cancer in women in sub-Saharan Africa followed by breast cancer. In Ethiopia, the incidence of cervical cancer is high i.e. 35.9 per 100,000 women. Low level of awareness, lack of effective screening programs, overshadowed by other health priorities (such as acquired immune deficiency syndrome, tuberculosis and malaria) and insufficient attention to women’s health are the possible factors for the observed higher incidence rate of cervical cancers in the country. Data on knowledge of Ethiopian women regarding cervical cancer is lacking. The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge of women about cervical cancer and associated factors.
A community based cross-sectional survey was conducted from April 4-16, 2010 in Gondar town, Northwest Ethiopia. A total of 633 women aged 15 years and above were interviewed using semi-structured questionnaire by 8 trained data collectors and 2 supervisors. SPSS Windows version 15.0 was employed for data entry and analysis.
Of all the respondents, 495 (78.7%) of them had heard about cervical cancer and only 195 (31%) of them were knowledgeable about the disease.
The knowledge of women on cervical cancer was found to be poor. Education about the disease must include information on risk factors, sign and symptoms of cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer; Women; Knowledge
Clustered within the nomenclature of Asian American are numerous subgroups, each with their own ethnic heritage, cultural, and linguistic characteristics. An understanding of the prevailing health knowledge, attitudes, and screening behaviors of these subgroups is essential for creating population-specific health promotion programs.
Korean American women (123) completed baseline surveys of breast cancer knowledge, attitudes, and screening behaviors as part of an Asian grocery store-based breast cancer education program evaluation. Follow-up telephone surveys, initiated two weeks later, were completed by 93 women.
Low adherence to the American Cancer Society's breast cancer screening guidelines and insufficient breast cancer knowledge were reported. Participants' receptiveness to the grocery store-based breast cancer education program underscores the importance of finding ways to reach Korean women with breast cancer early detection information and repeated cues for screening. The data also suggest that the Asian grocery store-based cancer education program being tested may have been effective in motivating a proportion of the women to schedule a breast cancer screening between the baseline and follow-up surveys.
The program offers a viable strategy to reach Korean women that addresses the language, cultural, transportation, and time barriers they face in accessing breast cancer early detection information.
In the US, Hispanic women have a higher incidence of, and mortality from, cervical cancer than non-Hispanic white women. The reason for this disparity may be attributable to both low rates of screening and poor adherence to recommended diagnostic follow-up after an abnormal Pap test. The 'Cervical Cancer Screening and Adherence to Follow-up Among Hispanic Women' study is a collaboration between a research institution and community partners made up of members from community based organizations, the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic and the Breast, Cervical, and Colon Health Program of the Yakima District . The study will assess the efficacy of two culturally-appropriate, tailored educational programs designed to increase cervical cancer screening among Hispanic women, based in the Yakima Valley, Washington, US.
A parallel randomized-controlled trial of 600 Hispanic women aged 21–64, who are non-compliant with Papanicolau (Pap) test screening guidelines. Participants will be randomized using block randomization to (1) a control arm (usual care); (2) a low-intensity information program, consisting of a Spanish-language video that educates women on the importance of cervical cancer screening; or (3) a high-intensity program consisting of the video plus a ‘promotora’ or lay-community health educator-led, home based intervention to encourage cervical cancer screening. Participants who attend cervical cancer screening, and receive a diagnosis of an abnormal Pap test will be assigned to a patient navigator who will provide support and information to promote adherence to follow-up tests, and any necessary surgery or treatment. Primary endpoint: Participants will be tracked via medical record review at community-based clinics, to identify women who have had a Pap test within 7 months of baseline assessment. Medical record reviewers will be blinded to randomization arm. Secondary endpoint: An evaluation of the patient navigator program as a method to improve adherence and reduce time to follow-up among participants who receive an abnormal Pap test result. An additional secondary endpoint is the cost-effectiveness of the two different intensity intervention programs.
This culturally sensitive intervention aims to increase compliance and adherence to cervical screening in a Hispanic population. If effective, such interventions may reduce incidence of cervical cancer.
Hispanic women; Pap test; Cervical cancer screening; Cancer disparities
Cervical cancer is one of the ten most frequent cancers in Turkey. It is well known that cervical cancer morbidity and mortality could be significantly reduced with an active cervical smear screening (Pap smear) program.
The aims of this study were: 1) to evaluate the knowledge and attitudes of women about cervical smear testing; 2) to establish a cervical smear screening program and to evaluate the cervical cytological abnormalities that were found; 3) to determine the applicability, limitations and effectiveness of this screening in a primary health care unit.
Patients and Methods:
A total of 332 married women were included in our study. We collected data concerning socio-demographic and fertility characteristics, and knowledge about Pap smear testing was determined through printed questionnaires. A gynecological examination and Pap smear screening was performed on every woman in our study group.
Over ninety percent of our study group had never heard of and had not undergone Pap smear screening before. Of the 332 smears evaluated, 328 (98.8%) were accepted as normal, whereas epithelial cell anomalies were seen in 4 (1.2%), infection in 59 (17.7%), and reactive cell differences in 223 (67.2%) of the smears.
The frequency of epithelial cell anomalies in our study group was less than the frequencies reported from Western countries. Knowledge regarding cervical cancer and Pap smear screening was very low. Pap smears can be easily taken and evaluated through a chain built between the primary health care unit and laboratory, and this kind of screening intervention is easily accepted by the population served.
Cervical smear; cervical intraepithelial lesion; cervical cancer screening
Cervical cancer represents a global women’s health issue. The emergence of vaccines against the most common types of human papillomaviruses causing cervical cancer represents a significant advance in cervical cancer prevention. Adolescent girls are the primary target population for vaccination—a population that traditionally has been difficult to reach. Obstetricians and gynecologists may hold the key to improving adolescent human papillomavirus vaccinations through the novel use of their existing relationships with adolescents’ mothers during the routine cervical cancer screening visit. We propose using maternal cancer screenings, specifically breast and cervical cancer screening episodes, as “teachable moments,” naturally occurring life or health events thought to motivate a person to adopt risk-reducing health behaviors spontaneously, to improve human papillomavirus vaccination rates among adolescents.
Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) groups have low rates of breast and cervical cancer screening. This study examined knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs (KABs) regarding breast and cervical cancer on AAPI women. A cross-sectional survey of 1,808 AAPI women was included. Descriptive statistics and chi-square tests were provided and 55.3%, 68.6%, and 71.9% had received mammograms, clinical breast exam, and Pap smears, respectively. KABs on breast and cervical cancer varied between the four ethnic groups. Understanding the KABs toward cancer screening among AAPI women holds promise for identifying barriers to early detection and could aid in the creation of interventions.
Knowledge; Attitudes; Beliefs; Breast and cervical cancer
Cervical cancer is a significant health disparity among women in Ohio Appalachia. The goal of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a lay health advisor (LHA) intervention for improving Pap testing rates, to reduce cervical cancer, among women in need of screening.
Women from 14 Ohio Appalachian clinics in need of a Pap test were randomized to receive either usual care or an LHA intervention over a ten-month period. The intervention consisted of two in-person visits with an LHA, two phone calls, and four post cards. Both self-report and medical record review (MRR) data (primary outcome) were analyzed.
Of the 286 women, 145 and 141 were randomized to intervention and usual care arms, respectively. According to MRR, more women in the LHA arm had a Pap test by the end of the study compared to those randomized to usual care (51.1% vs. 42.0%; OR=1.44, 95%CI: 0.89, 2.33; p=0.135). Results of self-report were more pronounced (71.3% vs. 54.2%; OR=2.10, 95%CI: 1.22, 3.61; p=0.008).
An LHA intervention showed some improvement in the receipt of Pap tests among Ohio Appalachian women in need of screening. While biases inherent in using self-reports of screening are well known, this study also identified biases in using MRR data in clinics located in underserved areas.
LHA interventions show promise for improving screening behaviors among non-adherent women from underserved populations.
lay health advisor; natural helpers; cervical cancer; screening; Pap test; risk-appropriate; Appalachia; health disparities
Low rates of breast and cervical cancer screening among Hmong women have been documented. Mistrust of Western medicine and the health care system, as well as experiences of discrimination in health care, may be barriers to seeking health care for this population. In this study, we explored medical mistrust among Hmong women and men, their experiences with discrimination in health care, and how these factors may influence Hmong women’s breast and cervical cancer screening behavior. We conducted semi-structured, in-depth interviews with women and men who were members of the Hmong community in Oregon. Transcripts of 83 interviews were analyzed using content analysis. Despite personally trusting Western medicine and the health care system, participants shared reasons that some Hmong people feel mistrust including lack of understanding or familiarity, culture, and tradition. Although mistrust was thought to result in delaying or avoiding breast or cervical cancer screening, more frequently trust was described as positively influencing screening. In addition, few participants reported being treated differently during breast or cervical cancer screening because they were Hmong. When discussing health care more broadly, however, some participants described differential (e.g., disrespectful or rude) treatment. Such experiences led to feelings such as anger and sadness and affected behavior, including willingness to seek care and choice of provider. Medical mistrust and perceived discrimination were not major barriers to breast and cervical cancer screening in this study. Additional studies are needed to assess whether our findings reflect the experiences of other Hmong.
mistrust; discrimination; Hmong; cancer screening
Cancer has been the most common cause of death in Thailand from 2002 (65.4/100,000/year in 2002). With regard to leading cancers in Thailand for female population, the highest incidence falls into cervical cancer (25/100,000/year) followed by breast, liver and bile duct, bronchus and lung, colon and rectum, and ovarian cancer. In 2003, there were 6,243 new cases of cervical cancer with the death of 2,620 women. Therefore, in Thailand, seven women die from cervical cancer each day. However, the incidence of cervical cancer in Thailand is decreasing. The important factor contributed to this decreasing is the implement of Thailand dual-track strategy cervical screening program using both Pap smear and visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA)-cryotherapy. Learning about the epidemiologic data of gynecologic cancer could raise public awareness and play a part in establishing measures for prevention, control and treatment of the cancer which will contribute to the better health of women, and of course, decrease the expense used in various modalities of treatment.
Gynecologic cancer; Epidemiology; Thailand
Breast and cervical cancer continue to represent major health challenges for African American women. among Caucasian women. The underlying reasons for this disparity are multifactorial and include lack of education and awareness of screening and early detection. Traditional educational methods have enjoyed varied success in the African American community and spawned development of novel educational approaches. Community based education programs employing a variety of educational models have been introduced. Successful programs must train and provide lay community members with the tools necessary to deliver strong educational programs.
The Witness Project is a theory-based, breast and cervical cancer educational program, delivered by African American women, that stresses the importance of early detection and screening to improve survival and teaches women how to perform breast self examination. Implementing this program in the Buffalo Witness Project of Buffalo required several modifications in the curriculum, integration of non-traditional learning tools and focused training in clinical study participation. The educational approaches utilized included repetition, modeling, building comprehension, reinforcement, hands on learning, a social story on breast health for African American women, and role play conversations about breast and cervical health and support.
Incorporating non-traditional educational approaches into the Witness Project training resulted in a 79% improvement in the number of women who mastered the didactic information. A seventy-two percent study participation rate was achieved by educating the community organizations that hosted Witness Project programs about the informed consent process and study participation.
Incorporating non-traditional educational approaches into community outreach programs increases training success as well as community participation.
Qualitative research on knowledge and perceptions of diabetes is limited in the Appalachian region, where social, economic, and behavioral risk factors put many individuals at high risk for diabetes. The aim of this study was to gain a culturally informed understanding of diabetes in the Appalachian region by 1) determining cultural knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes of diabetes among those who live in the region; 2) identifying concerns and barriers to care for those with diabetes; and 3) determining the barriers and facilitators to developing interventions for the prevention and early detection of diabetes in Appalachia.
Thirteen focus groups were conducted in 16 counties in West Virginia in 1999. Seven of the groups were composed of persons with diabetes (n = 61), and six were composed of community members without diabetes (n = 40). Participants included 73 women and 28 men (n = 101).
Findings show that among this population there is lack of knowledge about diabetes before and after diagnosis and little perception that a risk of diabetes exists (unless there is a family history of diabetes). Social interactions are negatively affected by having diabetes, and cultural and economic barriers to early detection and care create obstacles to the early detection of diabetes and education of those diagnosed.
Public health education and community-level interventions for primary prevention of diabetes in addition to behavior change to improve the management of diabetes are needed to reduce the health disparities related to diabetes in West Virginia.
The National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP),administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through grants to states, tribes, and territories, has successfully provided breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to low-income women since 1990. On October 24, 2000, Congress passed the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act (BCCPTA) authorizing states, if they chose, to provide Medicaid coverage for treatment services for women screened under theNBCCEDP. Under BCCPTA, uninsured women younger than age 65 who are screened through the NBCCEDP and found to have breast or cervical cancer (or precancerous conditions) may gain access to Medicaid services for and during their cancer treatment. Implementation of the BCCPTA requires collaboration and coordination among many government agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, state Medicaid directors, and directors of state and tribal grant programs. This article describes the implementation of the program and demonstrates to policy makers that coordinating resources among government agencies can facilitate the rapid adoption of public health programs as pathways for specific populations to gain access to publicly funded health insurance coverage.