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How did we adapt a cervical cancer screening program for a new audience?

Adapting AMIGAS for African American women never and rarely screened for cervical cancer

Challenge

Among the major ethnic groups in the U.S., Hispanic women have the highest rate of cervical cancer, but African American women are more likely to die of this disease.

Cervical cancer screening is a critical first in obtaining treatment. Screening helps health care providers to identify women who have cervical cancer and connect them with cancer treatment. However, providing cervical cancer screening to women who do not have ready access to health care services can be difficult.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) asked Westat to adapt a successful cervical cancer screening program for use with African American women.

Solution

Westat is supporting CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control in adapting AMIGAS, a community-based intervention that educates Hispanic women about cervical cancer screening. Westat is modifying AMIGAS resources to reflect the needs of African American women who have rarely or never been screened for cervical cancer.

Westat performed the following:

  • Convened an advisory group of community health workers from around the country, which guided development of the adapted intervention
  • Conducted literature reviews to guide improvements in cervical cancer screening for medically underserved African American women
  • Revised existing AMIGAS materials on cervical cancer screening, HPV, and HPV testing and developed new materials

Results

In consultation with CDC and the community health worker advisory group, Westat created Face Your Health—an evidence-based educational intervention for African American women ages 21-65.

Face Your Health components include:

  • An instructional toolbox with lesson plans and teaching aids to guide community health workers in educating African American women about risk factors for cervical cancer, including HPV infection, and the benefits of screening.
  • Program resources, including games, message cards, fact sheets, appointment cards, FAQs, and a glossary on cervical cancer, screening, and interpreting test results.

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