Photo by Dean Forbes
Research on the effectiveness of a cancer-education program for Native communities has led to a $170,000 federal stimulus grant to Dr. Beti Thompson of the Public Health Sciences Division.
The two-year award, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, will enable researchers to:
- Update and expand “Cancer 101: A Cancer Education and Training Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives,” which members of the American Indian and Alaskan Native communities helped develop and validate
- Create a generic version of the materials that can be tailored for any community
- Adapt the curriculum for the Hispanic community.
Kathy Briant, a community health educator for the Thompson Studies’ Hispanic Community Network to Reduce Cancer Disparities, and Teresa Garrett Hill, director of national outreach for the Spirit of EAGLES Community Networks Program, will lead the effort.
The importance of Cancer 101
“We developed Cancer 101 as a tool to help American Indians and Alaska Native individuals and communities gain knowledge to better understand the dimensions of cancer and to influence positive health outcomes,” said Garrett Hill, Cancer 101’s primary author. Garrett Hill created the curriculum in 2002 in collaboration with the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB) and staff from the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service (CIS).
For the study, Garrett Hill, Briant, and NPAIHB staff conducted two-day Cancer 101 trainings in five Pacific Northwest tribal communities between February 2006 and June 2007.
Among the benefits, they found Cancer 101 to be a practical, useful and replicable evidence-based curriculum that delivers cancer information in a culturally appropriate and understandable way. Trainings motivated participants to work to improve cancer control in their communities though screening and prevention activities, patient navigation and survivor/caregiver support. The curriculum also helped CIS, Spirit of EAGLES and NPAIHB staff adapt their practices to better respond to the cancer education needs of each community they serve.
Next phase involves Spanish translation
“Research evaluation showed that Cancer 101 provides a critical pathway to increase cancer knowledge and promotes action to reduce the burden and improve cancer survival rates in tribal communities,” said Briant. The project’s next phase, which Briant will lead, involves updating, expanding and translating the curriculum materials for use in the Hispanic community.
“We know anecdotally that Cancer 101 is currently being used by a variety of populations beyond the Native population for which it was developed—including the Hispanic community in the Yakima Valley,” she said.
After updating and expanding the curriculum, Briant will work with colleagues in the Hispanic Community Network to Reduce Cancer Disparities to translate generic Cancer 101 materials into Spanish, back translate into English, then pilot the curriculum in the Hispanic community to test acceptability, usability and comprehension.
The research study on the effectiveness of Cancer 101 appeared in the September issue of the Journal of Cancer Education. Prior to publication, the paper received the R. Davilene Carter Presidential Prize for Best Manuscript from the American Association for Cancer Education (AACE).
Upon presenting the AACE award, last year, to the Cancer 101 research evaluation team, Joseph O’Donnell, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Cancer Education, said everyone should receive training with Cancer 101. For Briant and Garrett Hill, the curriculum’s use by any and all communities is the ultimate goal.