Background: This paper presents the study design, intervention components, and baseline data from Open Doors to Health, a study designed to address social contextual factors in colorectal cancer (CRC) prevention for low-income, racial/ethnic minority populations.
Methods: A cluster randomized design with 12 housing sites as the primary sampling units was used: 6 sites were assigned to a "Peer-led plus Screening Access" (PL) condition, and 6 were assigned to "Screening Access only" (SCR) condition. Study-related outcomes were CRC screening, physical activity (measured as mean steps/day), and multivitamin use.
Results: At baseline (unweighted sample size = 1554), two-thirds self-reported that they were current with screening recommendations for CRC (corrected for medical records validation, prevalence was 52%), with half having received a colonoscopy (54%); 96% had health insurance. Mean steps per day was 5648 (se mean = 224), and on average 28% of the sample reported regular multivitamin use. Residents reported high levels of social support [mean = 4.40 (se = .03)] and moderately extensive social networks [mean = 2.66 (se = .02)].
Conclusion: Few studies have conducted community-based studies in public housing communities; these data suggest areas for improvement and future opportunities for intervention development and dissemination. Findings from the randomized trial will determine the effectiveness of the intervention on our health-related outcomes as well as inform future avenues of research.