Findings from American Indian Needs Assessments

Linda Burhansstipanov, Linda U. Krebs, Lisa Harjo, Kathleen Ragan, Judith Salmon Kaur, Vickie Marsh, Dewey Painter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Because of decreased access and dismal survival rates, strategies need to be developed to increase cancer awareness and facilitate cancer prevention, early detection, and screening activities within American Indian (AI) populations. The purpose of this study was to develop a locally tailored needs assessment to collect cancer prevention, control, and risk factor information and knowledge, attitude, and perceived behavior (hereafter referred to as “needs assessment”) data from 500 community members living in 3 geographically diverse settings: the Southeastern USA, the Rocky Mountain region, and the Northern Plains. Needs assessment data helped identify local health priorities and create a pilot cancer prevention and early detection education intervention. There were two versions of common items of the instrument: short (~35 items) and long (55 items), and each partner added items that were recommended by their local AI Advisory Committee. Each partner collaborated with local AI organizations to identify and recruit participants at community venues. During the sessions, facilitators used Power Point® slides and ARS equipment and software to anonymously collect participants’ responses. The partners collected needs assessment data from 677 community members over a 4-year period. Cancer education knowledge was low, barriers to accessing timely cancer screening and care services were excessive, tobacco use was excessive, and daily physical activity was insufficient for most participants. ARS was an effective way to collect needs assessment information. During discussions following the data collection, community members requested more cancer education opportunities, access to patient navigation services, and cultural competency training for healthcare providers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)576-582
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • ARS (Audience Response System)
  • American Indian
  • Barriers
  • Cancer prevention and control
  • Disparities
  • Inequities
  • Needs assessment
  • Patient navigation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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