Por La Vida intervention model for cancer prevention in Latinas

J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr. 1995;(18):137-45.


Our goal was to describe the development and implementation of an intervention on cancer prevention for Latinas in San Diego, Calif. Thirty-six lay community workers ("consejeras") were recruited and trained to conduct educational group sessions. Each consejera recruited approximately 14 peers from the community to participate in the program (total number = 512). Half of the consejeras were randomly assigned to a control group, in which they participated in an equally engaging program entitled "Community Living Skills." Implementation of the intervention was assessed by qualitative and quantitative methods. Preintervention and postintervention self-report information was obtained from project participants on access to health care services, cancer knowledge, preventive measures, and previous cancer-screening examinations. Base-line data suggest that lack of knowledge, costs of cancer-screening tests, and the lack of a regular health care provider are the major obstacles against obtaining cancer-screening tests. Predisposing factors, such as fear and embarrassment, also constitute barriers to getting regular cervical cancer screening. Preliminary analysis indicates that the Por La Vida intervention increases use of cancer-screening tests in comparison to a community living skills control group. Universal access to health care would remove some of the major financial barriers to cancer screening. The Por La Vida program attempts to overcome the substantial barriers by reaching out to low-income Latinas and by providing information regarding the availability, acceptability, and preventive nature of cancer-screening tests.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health
  • Breast Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • California / epidemiology
  • Community Networks* / organization & administration
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Hispanic or Latino* / psychology
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Mass Screening / economics
  • Mass Screening / psychology
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology*
  • Peer Group
  • Program Evaluation
  • Social Environment
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Women's Health*