South Dallas experiences significant disparities in breast cancer mortality, with a high proportion of stage III and IV diagnoses. To address these rates, the Dallas Cancer Disparities Community Research Coalition created an educational intervention to promote breast health and early detection efforts.
The goals of the intervention were to increase (a) knowledge regarding the chief contributing factors for breast cancer, (b) awareness of the importance of screening for early detection, and (c) the proportion of women who have engaged in appropriate breast cancer screening practices.
Eligibility criteria for this nonrandomized, controlled trial included women age 40 and older, English-speaking, and having no personal history of cancer. Control participants received written breast health educational materials. Intervention participants attended 8 weekly sessions that included interactive educational materials, cooking demonstrations, and discussions emphasizing primary and secondary breast cancer prevention. All study participants completed a 1-hour survey at baseline and 4 months later.
There were 59 women were enrolled in the intervention and 60 in the control group. At follow-up, after controlling for baseline mammography status, women in the intervention group were 10.4 times more likely (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.9–36.4) to have received a screening mammogram in the last year compared with the control group. Intervention participants demonstrated statistically significantly higher rates of breast self-examination (odds ratio [OR], 3.0; 95% CI, 1.0–8.6) and breast cancer knowledge (p = .003).
Lessons learned from this community-based participatory research (CBPR) study can be used to create sustainable cancer disparity reduction models that can be replicated in similar communities.