Background. Native American women have very poor 5-year breast and cervix cancer survival rates compared to other US population groups. We evaluated a training program that prepares community health representatives (CHRs) to promote prevention and early detection of these diseases. Two questions guided the evaluation: (1) Are CHRs an appropriate focus of training? and (2) Does training empower CHRs and, indirectly, their facilities to educate about breast and cervix cancer, promote screening, and teach breast self-exam skills to American Indian and Alaska Native women? Methods. Twenty CHRs (3 Indian Health Service regions, 9 separate employers) responded to a telephone survey consisting of Likert scale and multiple option and short-answer questions. Analysis relied on descriptive statistics and measures of central tendency. Results. By tenure, cultural and community membership, and ability to adapt to audience needs and setting demands, CHRs make appropriate training recipients. Training improves skills and their use and appears to increase employers' reliance on CHRs for screening promotion and education about cancer. Posttraining, more women hear and heed the screening message. Conclusions. CHRs are an appropriate focus of training. Training leads to increased screening-related activities and should be continued and expanded.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health