Online Program

Guidance on Designing Health Fairs for Promoting Cancer Screening: Lessons Learned from Evaluation of 7 Health Fairs

Monday, November 2, 2015

Cam Escoffery, PhD, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Shuting Liang, MPH, School of Public Health, Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX
Kirsten Rodgers, EdD, MSPH, MCHES, Department of Behavioral Science and Health Education, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Regine Haardörfer, PhD, MEd, MS, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Grace Hennesay, Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, GA
Kendra Gilbertson, Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, GA
Maria E. Fernandez, PhD, Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health, Houston, TX
Leticia Gatus, University of Texas School of Public Health, Houston, TX
Background: Special events such as health fairs or screening events are common strategies to increase cancer education and are widely used by health agencies.  Most of these special events aim to increase awareness and knowledge about health; yet, the effectiveness of this intervention strategy has not been fully examined.  The purpose of this study was to conduct a process evaluation of 7 health fairs across the country.   

Method: Health fairs to promote breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening were conducted in Fall 2013. Six months after the health fairs, participants from the events completed phone interviews to describe their opinions of the health fairs, rate health fair components and make suggestions for improvements.

Results: Overall, 63% of the participants (n=249) reported that the health fair was excellent. Fair components rated the highest were staff being knowledgeable, materials provided being easy to understand, and useful information provided.  Components rated lower were lack of sufficient communication about the event, organization of the fair and ease of moving around. Since the health fair, 60% reported that they read health information about cancer, 59% discussed cancer screening with family and friends, and 41% talked to their physician about cancer screening.

Conclusion: Design considerations for health fairs based on this evaluation are plan for event promotion to increase reach and impact of the health fair, consider the use of evidence-based strategies and onsite or referral for screening, and plan for data collection to help evaluate the effectiveness of the health fair.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Define special events and their role in increasing cancer screening Describe metrics for process and outcome evaluation of health fairs to promote cancer education and screening Describe strategies and topics within the health fair and use of Community Guide to Preventive Services recommended interventions to promote screening List guidance for designing health fairs to increase breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screenings based on the evaluation data

Keyword(s): Cancer Prevention and Screening, Community Health Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: My research areas are evaluation, dissemination and implementation research and cancer control. I have been Principal investigator of a CDC funded grant to study the use and evaluation of special events such as health fairs to promote cancer screening. I have an MPH and PhD in Health Promotion and Behavior.
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.