A pilot test of a church-based intervention to promote multiple cancer-screening behaviors among Latinas
Allen, J.D.; Pérez, J.E.; Tom, L.; Leyva, B.; Diaz, D.; Idalí Torres, M.
Journal of Cancer Education the Official Journal of the American Association for Cancer Education 29(1): 136-143
ISSN/ISBN: 1543-0154 PMID: 24132541 DOI: 10.1007/s13187-013-0560-3
We assessed the feasibility, acceptability, and initial impact of a church-based educational program to promote breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening among Latinas ages 18 years and over. We used a one-group pre-/post-evaluation within a low-income, Latino Baptist church in Boston, MA. Participants completed interviewer-administered assessments at baseline and at the end of the 6-month intervention. Under the guidance of a patient navigator (PN), women from the church (peer health advisors, or PHAs) were trained to deliver evidence-based screening interventions, including one-to-one outreach, small group education, client reminders, and reduction of structural barriers to screening. The PN and PHAs also implemented a health fair, and the pastor integrated health information into regular sermons. At pre-intervention, nearly half of the sample did not meet screening guidelines. The majority (97%, n = 35) of those who completed the post-intervention assessment participated in intervention activities. Two thirds (67%) reported talking with the PN or PHAs about health issues. Participation in small group education sessions was highest (72%), with health fairs (61%) and goal setting (50%) also being popular activities. Fourteen percent also reported receiving help from the PN in finding a primary care provider. This study supports the feasibility and acceptability of churches as a setting to promote cancer screening among Latinas.