The Dana-FarberCancer Institute, in collaboration with the Service
Employees International Union, proposes the Breast Cancer Education
Project (BCEP) toassess the effects of a worksite breast cancer education
program targeted toward low-income women and women of diverse
ethnic/cultural groups. The purpose of this program is to raise
awareness of breast cancer, enhance knowledge of the importance of early
detection, and increase adherence to mammography screening guidelines
among underserved women. The BCEP employs a Peer Health Adviser model
in which members of the target community are recruited and trained to
provide health education and outreach. This model emphasizes the
importance of culturally relevant intervention programs, the function of
social networks in promoting behavior change, and the need for employee
involvement in sustainable worksite education programs.
In this study, a randomized controlled design is used in which worksites
are the unit of randomization, intervention and analysis. Thirty
worksites, recruited to the study through SEIU, will be randomly assigned
to intervention or comparison groups. The primary outcome variable
examined will be mammography practices and compliance with recommended
screening guidelines over time. These variables will be assessed among
women aged 52-63 through administration of a Health Habits Questionnaire.
Intrapersonal, interpersonal and institutional factors influencing breast
cancer screening behaviors will also be assessed, based on surveys of
employees, management and union representatives. A process evaluation
wil assess the extent to which the intervention was implemented and the
costs associated with implementation.
The Breast Cancer Education Project stands apart from other worksite
education programs as a theory-driven model with an innovative approach
to constructing culturally and linguistically appropriate programs for
underserved women. Collaboration with the SEIU provides a unique
opportunity to access service worksites and their employees, and to build
on previously-established educational strategies used by labor in
communicating effectively with their membership. Products of this study
will include a tested worksite intervention model for use within an
ethnically diverse population, and an implementation manual with program
materials for use in other worksites.
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