Department of Public Health Sciences

Cancer screening for underserved women: the Breast and Cervical Cancer Intervention Study

Hiatt RA, Pasick RJ, Stewart S, Bloom J, Davis P, Gardiner P, Luce J

Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. 2008. 17(8):1945-9.

OBJECTIVE: To report on the effect of the Breast and Cervical Cancer Intervention Study (BACCIS), a multicomponent intervention conducted in the San Francisco Bay Area between 1992 and 1997. METHODS: BACCIS targeted approximately 25,000 multiethnic, underserved women in eight neighborhoods and the public health clinics that served them. An outreach intervention using lay health worker peers and clinic provider inreach intervention to improve breast and cervical cancer screening were evaluated in a quasi-experimental, controlled trial with pretest and posttest household surveys of 1,599 and 1,616 women, respectively. Surveys were conducted in English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Cantonese. RESULTS: Analyses of community survey results showed no significant improvement in reported screening behaviors. Reports of mammography in the intervention areas in the previous 2 years, or for Pap smear in the previous 3 years, did not differ significantly (73-71% and 84-87%, respectively, for pretest and posttest surveys). CONCLUSION: High baseline screening rates, lack of sensitive measures of change at the population level, contamination of the control group, and an imbalance of predictive factors at baseline contributed to the difficulty of assessing the value of the intervention. Lessons learned from this inconclusive study may be of value to future community intervention studies of cancer screening and other health behaviors in multiethnic underserved urban populations.

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