IASLC 2017: Community Engagement Interventions May Reduce Disparities in Lung Cancer Outcomes Among Minorities

Key Points

  • The community sites that participated included nine African American churches, three community clinics that serve the medically underserved, and a community recreation center; the majority of participants were African American, they had an average age of 58.3 years, and 16% were tobacco smokers.
  • The intervention was effective in increasing cancer knowledge and screening self-efficacy.
  • However, there was no change among participants in their perceived cancer susceptibility. This likely indicates that they were aware of personal cancer risk factors prior to the intervention.

 

Community-based interventions implemented in minority community sites resulted in changes in participants’ knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about cancer, as well as perceived benefits and self-efficacy measures regarding lung cancer screening. Lovoria Williams, PhD, APRN-BC, FAANP, of Augusta University, presented these findings at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) 18th World Conference on Lung Cancer in Yokohama, Japan.

Significant lung cancer survival rate disparities exist among racial and ethnic minorities, the medically underserved, and within certain regions. High mortality rates can be explained in part by the prior absence of a lung cancer screening guideline. Dr. Williams and her team set out to determine whether their Cancer–Community Awareness, Access, Research and Education (c-CARE) intervention had the potential to improve cancer literacy and lessen the disparate outcomes among these communities.

c-CARE Details

The researchers used a method of community-engaged intervention that involved developing a curriculum guided by the Health Belief Model—which focuses on the attitudes and beliefs of individuals—and training community health workers to lead the educational sessions. Additionally, a Community Advisory Board was established, and interviews and forums were held with community health workers unassociated with the project, to ensure the study design and curriculum addressed community priorities and concerns.

The community sites that participated included nine African American churches, three community clinics that serve the medically underserved, and a community recreation center. Individuals identified as high-risk were connected to lung cancer screening and tobacco cessation programs.

Pre- and postintervention measures were collected to determine changes in participant knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about cancer, as well as perceived barriers and self-efficacy to obtain lung cancer screening and tobacco cessation services. Among the participants—the majority of whom were African American, with an average age of 58.3 years and 16% of whom were tobacco smokers—the intervention was effective in increasing cancer knowledge and screening self-efficacy. However, there was no change among participants in their perceived cancer susceptibility. This likely indicates that they were aware of personal cancer risk factors prior to the intervention.

“Using a community-based approach allowed us to access a hard-to-reach population by working to understand their needs and social context,” said Dr. Williams. “Based on our findings, we recommend this approach to increase screening and tobacco cessation among minority populations because it has the potential to improve lung cancer health disparities.” 

The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.


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