Engaging diverse underserved communities to bridge the mammography divide

Engelman, Kimberly K.; Cupertino, Ana Paula; Daley, Christine M.; Long, Trish; Cully, Angelia; Mayo, Matthew S.; Ellerbeck, Edward F.; Geana, Mugur V.; Greiner, Allen
January 2011
BMC Public Health;2011, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p47
Academic Journal
Background: Breast cancer screening continues to be underutilized by the population in general, but is particularly underutilized by traditionally underserved minority populations. Two of the most at risk female minority groups are American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) and Latinas. American Indian women have the poorest recorded 5-year cancer survival rates of any ethnic group while breast cancer is the number one cause of cancer mortality among Latina women. Breast cancer screening rates for both minority groups are near or at the lowest among all racial/ ethnic groups. As with other health screening behaviors, women may intend to get a mammogram but their intentions may not result in initiation or follow through of the examination process. An accumulating body of research, however, demonstrates the efficacy of developing 'implementation intentions' that define when, where, and how a specific behavior will be performed. The formulation of intended steps in addition to addressing potential barriers to test completion can increase a person's self-efficacy, operationalize and strengthen their intention to act, and close gaps between behavioral intention and completion. To date, an evaluation of the formulation of implementation intentions for breast cancer screening has not been conducted with minority populations. Methods/Design: In the proposed program, community health workers will meet with rural-dwelling Latina and American Indian women one-on-one to educate them about breast cancer and screening and guide them through a computerized and culturally tailored "implementation intentions" program, called Healthy Living Kansas - Breast Health, to promote breast cancer screening utilization. We will target Latina and AI/AN women from two distinct rural Kansas communities. Women attending community events will be invited by CHWs to participate and be randomized to either a mammography "implementation intentions" (MI²) intervention or a comparison general breast cancer prevention informational intervention (C). CHWs will be armed with notebook computers loaded with our Healthy Living Kansas - Breast Health program and guide their peers through the program. Women in the MI² condition will receive assistance with operationalizing their screening intentions and identifying and addressing their stated screening barriers with the goal of guiding them toward accessing screening services near their community. Outcomes will be evaluated at 120-days post randomization via self-report and will include mammography utilization status, barriers, and movement along a behavioral stages of readiness to screen model. Discussion: This highly innovative project will be guided and initiated by AI/AN and Latina community members and will test the practical application of emerging behavioral theory among minority persons living in rural communities. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials (NCT): NCT01267110.


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