203103 Beliefs and practices regarding cancer and breast health in an indigenous and a mestizo community in Ecuador

Monday, November 9, 2009: 1:10 PM

Marie Napolitano, PhD , School of Nursing, University of Portland, Portland, OR
Lourdes Carrera, RN, MS , School of Nursing, Pontifica Universidad Catolica de Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador
Marie Dahlstrom, MS , Research and Development, Familias en Accion, Portland, OR
Marco Antonio Pino, MD , School of Medicine, Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador
Nelly Sarmiento, RN MS , School of Nursing, Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador
Breast cancer is a significant public health problem in Latin American with increasing incidence and mortality rates. A lack of community-based, culturally appropriate breast health educational programs is one significant barrier to addressing this health problem. Te Apoyamos, a project (2008-2009) funded by the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, created this needed program in two communities in Ecuador. The Pontifica Universidad Catolica del Ecuador and the University of Portland collaborated on the project. One major project goal was to design and implement a community-based breast health program for indigenous women in a rural community (Las Balvinas) and poor mestiza women in a marginalized, urban community (Atucucho). The program included focus groups conducted in both communities to understand knowledge, beliefs and practices related to cancer and breast health. Information from the focus groups was incorporated into educational methods used by trained community women to deliver a breast health program to residents of their respective communities. In addition, community health fairs were held and breast health messages were delivered through the media. Currently, networks of volunteer lay promoters are being developed to sustain the program. This presentation will address the six focus groups conducted in the two communities and the application of the results to the development of the breast health educational program. The presentation will include the identified common themes, different themes between the communities, the unique histories and descriptions of the two communities, lessons learned, and the significance of this experience for other community cancer programs.

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss beliefs regarding cancer and breast health in two communities in Ecuador 2. Discuss the integration of focus group information from two communities into a health education program in Ecuador

Keywords: Breast Cancer, Latin American

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Co-investigator on project
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.