Traditional health promotion models often do not take into account the importance of shared cultural backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences unique to underserved African American women when designing community-based cancer screening and prevention programs. Thus, the purpose of this study was the development, implementation, and evaluation for a community-based participatory research (CBPR) program designed to increase breast cancer screening awareness in an underserved African American population by providing culturally appropriate social support and information. The study includes 357 African American women that participated in the program and completed the 6-month follow-up questionnaire. The program consisted of a 45-minute play, using community members and storytelling to honor and incorporate five different cultural experiences (skits) with breast care and cancer. Overall, findings indicate that the educational intervention was effective. In addition, these findings are consistent with the literature that suggests that educational interventions that include knowledge to alleviate concerns, dispel myths, and create awareness can increase breast cancer screening participation rates. Furthermore, these findings confirm the importance of CBPR in health promotion activities in reducing health and cancer disparities.
Journal of Psychosocial Oncology / Vol. 35, No. 1, pp.90-105