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Culturally customized cancer screening programs improve cancer screening rates
Escriba-Aguir V, Rodriguez-Gomez M, Ruiz-Perez I. Effectiveness of patient-targeted interventions to promote cancer screening among ethnic minorities: A systematic review Cancer Epidemiol. 2016;44:22-39.
Do culturally customized cancer screening programs for ethnic minority groups increase the number of people who are screened for cancer?
Minority populations and underserved communities are more likely experience social and economic challenges that make it difficult to access health education services, which can negatively impact their health. Screening can detect cancer early, increasing the chance of successful treatment. Those with difficulties accessing health services are less likely to participate in cancer screenings. Culturally customized health education materials may help improve screening rates.
How the review was done
This is a systematic review of 17 studies: 14 randomized controlled trials and 3 quasi-experimental studies. The number of participants in individual studies ranged from 65 to 5605. Almost all of the studies (16 of 17) were based in the United States. Nine studies were moderate to high quality.
Key features of the studies were:
- All studies involved people in specific ethnic groups; most identified as African American, Latino or Asian.
- Participants received culturally customized cancer screening materials and/or peer education and support.
- The customized health education approaches included group education, one-on-one education, small media (videos, brochures) and reminders. Some of the programs also offered free tests, materials or reimbursement of costs related to screening.
- Cancer screening education focused on colorectal cancer (6 studies), breast cancer (4 studies), cervical cancer (3 studies), and both breast and cervical cancer (3 studies). One study focused on breast, colorectal, lung and prostate cancer.
- Researchers measured knowledge, awareness and attitudes about cancer screening, as well as screening rates.
- Results were compared to control groups who received the usual care, general (non-customized) education and non-peer facilitation
What the researchers found
Culturally customized programs help to increase cancer screening rates for people in ethnic minority groups. This approach also appears to improve knowledge, awareness, intentions and beliefs about cancer and screening. Peer-based education and support and patient reminders enhance the effectiveness of culturally customized cancer screening approaches.
Culturally customized cancer screening programs increase participation in cancer screening.
A group that receives either no treatment or a standard treatment.
Randomized controlled trials
Studies where people are assigned to one of the treatments purely by chance.
A comprehensive evaluation of the available research evidence on a particular topic.
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Health Link B.C.
Colorectal testing every 1-2 years is recommended for people between ages 50 and 74. Your doctor may recommend screening before age 50 and more often if you have an increased risk of this type of cancer (eg. family history of colon cancer, polyps or Crohn's disease).
Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care
Women ages 50-74 should have a mammogram every 2 to 3 years, if they are not at high risk of breast cancer. Discuss with your doctor whether you should have a mammogram if you are over age 75.
Dance therapy does not appear to have a large benefit on improving physical or psychological symptoms of people with cancer, such as depression, fatigue or body image. However, you should dance if it helps you feel better.
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