Adapting the message on cervical cancer screening

The Challenge 

Among the major ethnic groups in the US, Hispanic women have the highest rate of cervical cancer, but African American women are more likely to die of this disease, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Cervical cancer screening is the first step in the path to obtaining cancer treatment. It can be a tool for reducing mortality by aiding health care providers to identify women with positive screens who indeed have cervical cancer and connect them with cancer treatment, hopefully at a stage when treatment is likely to be successful. However, providing cervical cancer screening to women who do not have ready access to health care services can be difficult.

This project aims to develop a successful cervical cancer screening program for African American women.

Our Solutions 

  • Westat will support CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control in developing a targeted screening program for African American women.
  • The starting point will be adapting a screening program found to be successful among Hispanic women, called AMIGAS, which stands for Ayudando a las Mujeres con Información, Guía, y Amor para su Salud, Helping Women with Information, Guidance, and Love for Their Health.
  • AMIGAS is a community-based intervention program that educates Hispanic women about cervical cancer screening. Materials were based on formative research and initially evaluated in an intervention trial.
  • Originally designed to target Hispanic women, Westat will modify these materials to address the health behaviors and outcomes of African American women who have never had cervical cancer screening or have not been screened in the past 3 years.
  • Westat staff will
    • Convene an advisory committee
    • Conduct literature reviews to guide improvements in cervical cancer screening for medically underserved African American women
    • Revise existing AMIGAS materials on cervical cancer screening, HPV, and HPV testing and develop new materials as needed

The Results 

  • This project will develop materials tailored to African American women for education about risk factors for cervical cancer, including HPV infection, and the benefit of cervical cancer screening.

Our Client 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)