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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
3107.0: Monday, December 12, 2005 - Table 6

Abstract #112253

Policy, environment and behavior in cancer health disparities

Suzanne Heurtin-Roberts, PhD, MSW, Basic and Biobehavioral Research Branch, National Cancer Institute, 6130 Executive Blvd.,EPN 4054, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-594-6655, sheurtin@mail.nih.gov

This roundtable discussion will consider the possible contributions and obstacles of health policy research in addressing the relationship of behavior and environment in reducing cancer health disparities. Behavioral research in cancer control encompasses a number of areas such as reduction of risk behaviors and behavioral factors in the utilization of prevention and treatment services, communications behavior, clinical behaviors of health care providers and decision-making by agents of third party payors. Much of behavioral research in cancer focuses on behavior change at the individual level. Another, perhaps less utilized, approach, is to amend the environmental context in which behavior occurs. Policy is perhaps the most potent tool we have to bring about change in environmental context, however, influencing behavior at the population level, and potentially having a widespread impact on health. Yet we know that policy can have negative as well as positive effects on physical, social, political and economic environments. In the proposed discussion, the following questions will be considered: How can research explore the positive and negative effects of policies upon environments and behavior. What are some of the social and cultural values upon which policies are based? How do differing policies promote or reduce disparities in cancer prevention and outcomes? The roundtable will consider what policy research is needed to facilitate health promoting environments and behaviors to reduce or eliminate cancer health disparities. Finally, what social and cultural values might be necessary for the development of such policies?

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant in this session will be able to

Keywords: Policy/Policy Development, Cancer

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

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The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA