Journal of Cancer Education

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 358-365

First online:

Evaluating Teaching Techniques in the Hmong Breast and Cervical Cancer Health Awareness Project

  • Maichou LorAffiliated withSchool of Nursing, University of Wisconsin-Madison Email author 
  • , Barbara BowersAffiliated withSchool of Nursing, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Cancer health disparities are a reality for Hmong women who are often diagnosed at a later stage and have low literacy and experienced care that are not culturally appropriate. Lack of attention to cultural appropriateness and literacy levels of cancer screening materials may contribute to disproportionately low levels of cancer screening among Hmong women. The purposes of this study were to evaluate the Hmong Health Awareness Project (HHAP), a program designed to create awareness and acceptance of breast and cervical cancer screening, and to examine participants’ perceptions of the utility of the content of the workshops. Hmong researchers partnered with three Midwestern Hmong community centers to implement six workshops. Three teaching techniques: pictographs, videos, and hands-on activities were utilized to teach Hmong participants about cancer screening. Participants included 150 Hmong (male participants = 30 and female participants = 120). Teach-back method was used to assess the participants’ understanding of cancer screening throughout the workshops. Qualitative data were collected in focus groups to assess the feasibility of teaching methods and participants’ perceptions of the utility of the content of the workshops. Directed content analysis was used to analyze participants’ responses. The three teaching techniques were helpful in increasing the Hmong people’s understanding about breast and cervical cancer screening. Nearly, all participants perceived an increased in their understanding, greater acceptance of cancer screening, and increased willingness to be screened. Men expressed support for screening after the workshops. Findings can guide future interventions to improve health communications and screening and reduce diagnostic disparities among Hmong and immigrant populations.


Cancer health disparity Breast cancer screening Cervical cancer screening Hmong Culturally specific education