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Key informant interviews with coordinators of special events conducted to increase cancer screening in the United States

17 Sep 2014

Special events such as health fairs, cultural festivals and charity runs are commonly employed in the community to increase cancer screening; however, little is known about their effectiveness. The purpose of this study is to assess the activities, screening outcomes, barriers and recommendations of special events to increase breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening. In-depth interviews were conducted nationally with 51 coordinators of events in June to September 2012. Health fairs and screening days were the most common events conducted, primarily for breast cancer education. Goals were to increase awareness of cancer screening and reach special populations. Evidence-based Community Guide strategies to increase cancer screening employed were: small media, reducing structural barriers, one-on-one education or group education. For each event that provided screening on-site or through referral, a mean of 35 breast, 28 cervical and 19 colorectal cancer screenings were reported. Coordinators made recommendations for further evaluation of special events, and most plan to conduct another special event. These data are novel and provide baseline documentation of activities and recommendations for a commonly used community-based cancer screening intervention that lacks evidence of effectiveness. Additional research to better understand the use of special events for increasing cancer screening is warranted.

17 September 2014

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Health Education Research