Background: To reduce disparities in breast and cervical cancer in the U.S., it is essential that programs such as CDC's National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) use evidence-based strategies. Recommendations for interventions to increase breast and cervical cancer screening have been disseminated by national public health organizations. To increase screening, cancer control planners would benefit from use of evidence-based strategies for recruitment of participants in their communities.
Purpose: The purpose of the study was to inventory recruitment activities for cancer screening within NBCCEDP programs and assess if activities used to increase cancer screening are evidence-based.
Methods: Interviews were conducted with 61 recruitment coordinators in 2008 to elicit their recruitment activities, use of evidence-based resources, and barriers to using evidence-based interventions (EBIs). Study data were analyzed in 2009.
Results: Of the 340 activities reported, many were categorized as educational materials, one-on-one education, mass media, group education, and special events. Two thirds of inventoried activities matched an EBI. Coordinators reported that colleagues and the CDC are their primary sources of information about EBIs and few coordinators had used evidence-based resources. Lack of money or funding, questionable applicability to priority populations, limited staffing or staff time, and insufficient evidence-based research were the most important barriers to EBI use.
Conclusions: Although the majority of NBCCEDP recruitment activities were evidence-based, one third were not. Additional training and technical assistance are recommended to help public health agencies adopt the use of these strategies.
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