Objectives: A community trial was undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of the North Carolina Breast Cancer Screening Program, a lay health advisor network intervention intended to increase screening among rural African American women 50 years and older.
Methods: A stratified random sample of 801 African American women completed baseline (1993-1994) and follow-up (1996-1997) surveys. The primary outcome was self-reported mammography use in the previous 2 years.
Results: The intervention was associated with an overall 6 percentage point increase (95% confidence interval [CI] = -1, 14) in community-wide mammography use. Low-income women in intervention counties showed an 11 percentage point increase (95% CI = 2, 21) in use above that exhibited by low-income women in comparison counties. Adjustment for potentially confounding characteristics did not change the results.
Conclusions: A lay health advisor intervention appears to be an effective public health approach to increasing use of screening mammography among low-income, rural populations.