Populations with cultural, educational and language barriers often have limited access to care, or other factors, such as lack of awareness, transportation issues, personal beliefs, financial concerns or work schedules that preclude them from seeking preventive care, according to a report published in the current issue of WMJ.
The report describes a two-year pilot project conducted as a community-academic partnership (CAP) between The Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center, community and faith-based organizations, the Wisconsin Well Woman Program and Columbia St. Mary’s to address disparities in breast cancer screening among minority, immigrant and refugee women.
During the 24-month study, the CAP conducted breast health education workshops once a month at locations that serve primarily immigrants, refugees and racial minorities. A total of 493 women attended one of the workshops; 360 were over age 40, making them eligible for mammograms. Nearly 35 percent of participants did not have a primary care provider and almost 33 percent lacked medical insurance. After attending the workshop, mammogram uptake among the eligible women was 100 percent among the insured and 80 percent among the uninsured.
“Our pilot initiative demonstrates the effectiveness of a culturally tailored community-academic partnership in facilitating the delivery of a comprehensive breast health education and screening program for culturally diverse women,” the authors wrote. “Breast health education workshops, navigation, and access to screening provided at trusted faith- or community-based organizations by culturally and linguistically relevant community health workers contributed to increased mammography uptake in both insured and uninsured women.”
To read the complete report in WMJ, click here.
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