Cancer control needs of 2-1-1 callers in Missouri, North Carolina, Texas, and Washington

J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2012 May;23(2):752-67. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2012.0061.


Innovative interventions are needed to connect underserved populations to cancer control services. With data from Missouri, North Carolina, Texas, and Washington this study a) estimated the cancer control needs of callers to 2-1-1, an information and referral system used by underserved populations, b) compared rates of need with state and national data, and c) examined receptiveness to needed referrals. From October 2009 to March 2010 callers' (N=1,408) cancer control needs were assessed in six areas: breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening, HPV vaccination, smoking, and smoke-free homes using Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey items. Standardized estimates were compared with state and national rates. Nearly 70% of the sample had at least one cancer control need. Needs were greater for 2-1-1 callers than for state and national rates, and callers were receptive to referrals. 2-1-1 could be a key partner in efforts to reduce cancer disparities.

MeSH terms

  • Access to Information*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
  • Female
  • Health Services Needs and Demand*
  • Humans
  • Information Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Medically Underserved Area
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • United States
  • Young Adult