The Asian Grocery Store-Based Cancer Education Program: Creating New Education Modules

J Cancer Educ. 2016 Jun;31(2):292-300. doi: 10.1007/s13187-015-0836-x.


Operating since 1994, the UCSD Moores Cancer Center's Asian Grocery Store-Based Cancer Education Program (the Program) is a proven and sustainable strategy for disseminating cancer and poison control information to Asian and Pacific Islander (API) communities. This paper describes the process taken to identify health topics that can be readily addressed within the Program's infrastructure and reports results of the pilot testing of the educational module that was developed by following that process. The development of each new module is guided by the Health Belief Model and the Tipping Point Model. The process starts with the selection of a health topic demonstrating pressing need and treatment options in the API community. Then, using the Pareto principle, reasonably modifiable risk factors are chosen to be addressed in the module. "Sticky messaging" for the modifiable risk factors is developed to package the health information as memorable and transmissible calls-to-action. Finally, grocery store outreaches were used to pilot test the new module to assess its effectiveness at facilitating health care information to API community members. By adhering to the steps described in this paper, the authors were able to: (1) select liver cancer as a pressing API health issue that could be positively impacted by the Program; (2) identify reasonably modifiable risk factors for the chosen health issue; (3) generate compelling call-to-action messages to decrease risk of exposure; and (4) demonstrate the cultural and linguistic alignment of the liver cancer control module. The development and testing of new health education modules follow a methodical process guided by scientific principles. Understanding and employing the elements of an existing evidence-based and sustainable health education program can increase the likelihood of success in addressing the health needs of the API community.

Keywords: Asian and Pacific Islanders; Cancer education; Cancer prevention; Health disparities; Health promotion; Liver cancer; Service learning.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Asian
  • Food Services / organization & administration*
  • Health Education*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Pilot Projects