Cancer prevention among working class, multiethnic adults: results of the healthy directions-health centers study

Am J Public Health. 2005 Jul;95(7):1200-5. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2004.038695. Epub 2005 Jun 2.


Objectives: We analyzed outcomes from a study that examined social-contextual factors in cancer prevention interventions for working class, multiethnic populations.

Methods: Ten community health centers were randomized to intervention or to control. Patients who resided in low-income, multiethnic neighborhoods were eligible; the intervention targeted fruit and vegetable consumption, red meat consumption, multivitamin intake, and physical activity. Outcomes were measured at 8 months.

Results: The intervention led to significant increases in fruit and vegetable consumption and multivitamin intake and reductions in red meat consumption; no change was found in physical activity levels. The intervention effect was not changed when contextual variables that may function as confounders or effect modifiers (e.g., gender, education, race/ethnicity, respondent and parents' country of birth, and poverty status) were included in the analyses.

Conclusions: The intervention led to significant improvements in health behaviors among a working class, multiethnic population, regardless of race/ ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Interventions that respond to the social context of working class individuals across racial/ethnic categories hold promise for improving cancer-related risk behaviors.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Community Health Centers
  • Diet
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Social Class