Development of intervention materials for individuals with limited English proficiency: lessons learned from "Colorectal Cancer Screening in Chinese Americans"

Med Care. 2008 Sep;46(9 Suppl 1):S51-61. doi: 10.1097/MLR.0b013e31817f0cde.

Abstract

Background: According to recent US census data, 52 million people reported speaking a language other than English at home, and almost 45% of this population reported limited English proficiency (LEP). Colorectal cancer (CRC) ranks among the top 3 most common cancers for several Asian ethnic groups, yet screening remains underutilized by Asian Americans.

Objectives: This article describes the development of culturally and linguistically appropriate intervention materials for individuals with LEP. We discuss lessons learned from this research and implications for the translation of research into practice.

Methods: The Health Behavior Framework served as the conceptual model for this study, and qualitative findings guided the development of our intervention materials (a video and pamphlet). To recommend Western preventive behaviors, the research team bridged the gap between Western and Chinese values and beliefs by devoting particular attention to: (1) the target population's sociocultural values and health beliefs; and (2) unique linguistic features of the Chinese language.

Results: Key lessons learned from this study include the importance of: (1) a conceptual framework to guide intervention development; (2) incorporating sociocultural values and health beliefs into the intervention; (3) addressing and capitalizing on complex linguistics issues; (4) using qualitative methodology in cross-cultural research; and (5) contributions from a multicultural and multilingual research team. Other lessons relate to the translation of research findings into practice. We surmise that lessons learned from this study may be pertinent to the promotion of CRC screening among other patient groups with LEP and applicable to additional cancer screening tests.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asian Americans / education*
  • Asian Americans / psychology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Communication Barriers
  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine / psychology
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology*
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States