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Community health worker interventions improve rates of US mammography screening
Date:6/23/2011

l studies) investigating the effectiveness of CHW programs specifically designed to increase screening mammography in women age 40 or older without a history of breast cancer. These programs were conducted in the United States in community health clinics or other settings outside a hospital. Eighteen studies enrolled a total of 26,660 participants and provided enough data to do further analysis.

Overall, the analysis found that interventions by CHWs are associated with a significant increase in rates of screening mammography. The study also teased out from the randomized controlled trials some new findings about when and where CHW programs are most likely to benefit:

  • Studies that reported matching CHWs and patient populations by race and ethnicity showed stronger improvement in adhering to mammography guidelines than those that did not.

  • Recruiting participants from a medical setting, like a community clinic, was more effective than recruiting them from churches, neighborhoods or other community settings. "A link to a medical setting is critical when designing a community health worker program to promote mammography screening," Wells said.

  • CHW interventions offered in urban settings were associated with increases in screening mammography, while those provided in rural locales were not. "This difference may reflect accessibility issues and transportation barriers," Wells said. "In some rural communities, mammograms are more difficult to obtain."

  • CHW programs that reported delivering three or more types of interventions -- including health education, referrals, appointment scheduling, vouchers, free or low-cost mammograms, emotional or social support, appointment reminders were associated with stronger increases in screening mammography than programs providing two or less types.


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Contact: Anne DeLotto Baier
abaier@health.usf.edu
813-974-3300
University of South Florida (USF Health)
Source:Eurekalert  

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