Educational interventions boost participation in cervical screening

A study of Chinese-American women suggests that direct mailing of culturally and linguistically appropriate educational materials and home visits by outreach workers can increase participation in cervical cancer screening within this population. The findings appear in the May 1 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

These interventions could be incorporated into the ongoing activities of the U.S. Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program, conclude Vicky Taylor, M.D., M.P.H., of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and her colleagues. Such interventions could also help reduce racial and ethnic health disparities associated with poor use of screening, they say.

Studies have suggested that Chinese-American women have higher rates of invasive cervical cancer than the general North American population. While studies have shown that considerably fewer Chinese-American women participate in cervical screening than women of other population subgroups, few studies have investigated the effectiveness of educational interventions on Pap testing in this population.

Taylor and her coworkers randomly assigned 402 Chinese-American women in Seattle and Vancouver into three groups. None of the women had received Pap testing in the previous 2 years or intended to have a Pap test in the next 2 years. One group received educational materials through home visits by Chinese outreach workers who also provided assistance with appointment scheduling and other details, one group received the materials through direct mail intervention, and one group received no intervention. Educational materials included videos, motivational pamphlets, and fact sheets in both Chinese and English.

After 6 months, 39% of the women in the outreach group reported having undergone Pap testing, compared with 25% of the women in the direct mail group and 15% of the women in the no-intervention group. The authors conclude that culturally and l

Contact: Linda Wang
Journal of the National Cancer Institute

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