186052 A novel social assessment of cancer experiences in a rural county

Monday, October 27, 2008

Gayle Weaver, PhD , Rehabilitation Services; School of Allied Health Sciences, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX
Edilma Guevara, DrPH , Preventive Medicine and Community Health, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX
Billy Philips, PhD , Chair: Preventive Medicine & Community Health, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX
Sandra Ford, BSN , Liberty County, Texas State Department of Health Services, Dayton, TX
Margaret Gardzina, MS , Liberty Independent School District, Liberty, TX
University of Texas Medical Branch Community-based Health Improvement Project established an academic-community partnership with Liberty County to increase broad participation in recommended cancer screening and early detection. This county was selected because of its high cancer mortality rate and existing health awareness coalition. This presentation reports findings from a novel approach to expand our knowledge of Liberty County's cancer screening practices and risk perceptions. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data by community partners at major county fairs. Over 500 surveys were completed by predominantly white (80%) adults between the ages of 20 and 70. Gender differences were found in cancer screening practices. Of the 313 women, 74% reported having a mammogram within 3 years and 56% having colorectal cancer screenings within 5 years. Of the 180 men, 60% reported being screened for prostate cancer within one year and 41% were screened for colorectal cancer. One-fifth reported screenings for other cancers such as lung, cervical/ovarian, and skin within 3 years. Most respondents believed they were at risk for either prostate, breast and/or colorectal cancer; however, women were more likely to perceive risks than men. Three-fourths received screenings for prostate, breast, and/or colorectal cancers outside the county. In summary, women were more likely to be in compliance with screening recommendations and to hold perceptions of cancer risk relative to men. Community partners' participation in data collection not only empowered their understanding of cancer issues, but also gave their Coalition exposure to the wider community. Project is supported NIH grant 5P50CA105631.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the multiple data collection activities of the academic-community partnership, but with an emphasis on the “Let’s Be Cancer Free” county fair survey 2. Discuss the strengths and limitations of collecting data through community partnerships. 3. Assess the relevance of findings for potential intervention development

Keywords: Cancer Screening, Rural Communities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Presentation is based on a 5-year study, funded by NCI, in which I am currently involved as a co-investigator. I am a psychologist with both research and community experience related to cancer, lupus and substance abuse.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.