248588 Breast and cervical cancer screening among women with disabilities: Using a community- engaged student assistant (CESA) to strengthen research in the community

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Jenny Miller, DrPH MS MPH , Department of Health Sciences, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK
Karen Ward, EdD , University of Alaska Anchorage, Center for Human Development, Anchorage, AK
Health disparities in cancer morbidity and mortality are important public health problems. Approximately one in five women in the US experience disabilities. Women with disabilities often lack access to health services: access to primary care and cancer screening services may be very limited, especially among low-income women. In Alaska, the influence of climate, geography and public transportation intensify access problems. Using a community-based approach, the purpose of our project is to learn if low-income women with disabilities have reduced access to and participation in screening services for breast and cervical cancer. Using a mixed methods approach, interviews are being conducted with low-income women living in the community. Recruitment activities include: contacting agencies, providing information about the project to agency staff and clients; and requesting time at community meetings to introduce the project and present Healthy Women Alaska, a health prevention curriculum. To increase recruitment, a CESA from the Center for Community Engagement and Learning (CCEL) has become a member of the research team. The CCEL works to connect academic programs to community needs to use scholarship and action for the benefit of the University, Alaska, its communities and its diverse peoples. The CESA championed contacting agencies, scheduling Healthy Women Alaska sessions and maintaining ongoing contact with direct services professionals. We present our experiences with agency leadership, professional and direct services staff, lessons learned and proposed community-based recruitment strategies.

Learning Areas:
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the value of community-engaged student assistants in research in the community Discuss the outcomes of community-engaged student activities Assess the contribution of community-engaged partnerships in public health research

Keywords: Breast Cancer Screening, Community-Based Partnership

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator for the research 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.