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Culturally-Relevant Online Cancer Education Modules Empower Alaska’s Community Health Aides/Practitioners to Disseminate Cancer Information and Reduce Cancer Risk

Abstract

To address a desire for timely, medically accurate cancer education in rural Alaska, ten culturally relevant online learning modules were developed with, and for, Alaska’s Community Health Aides/Practitioners (CHA/Ps). The project was guided by the framework of Community-Based Participatory Action Research, honored Indigenous Ways of Knowing, and was informed by Empowerment Theory. A total of 428 end-of-module evaluation surveys were completed by 89 unique Alaska CHA/Ps between January and December 2016. CHA/Ps shared that as a result of completing the modules, they were empowered to share cancer information with their patients, families, friends, and communities, as well as engage in cancer risk reduction behaviors such as eating healthier, getting cancer screenings, exercising more, and quitting tobacco. CHA/Ps also reported the modules were informative and respectful of their diverse cultures. These results from end-of-module evaluation surveys suggest that the collaboratively developed, culturally relevant, online cancer education modules have empowered CHA/Ps to reduce cancer risk and disseminate cancer information.

“brought me to tears couple of times, and I think it will help in destroying the silence that surrounds cancer”

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Acknowledgements

This work is part of “Distance Education to Engage Alaskan Community Health Aides in Cancer Control,” supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), award R25CA186882. Data analysis, theoretical understandings, and manuscript preparation and submission were supported by NIH grant 3R25CA057711. The content of this manuscript is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the views of the NIH. This research protocol was reviewed and approved by the Alaska Area Institutional Review Board, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium Health Research Review Committee, and the Southcentral Foundation (SCF) Executive Committee and the SCF Board of Directors.

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Correspondence to Katie Cueva.

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Cueva, K., Revels, L., Cueva, M. et al. Culturally-Relevant Online Cancer Education Modules Empower Alaska’s Community Health Aides/Practitioners to Disseminate Cancer Information and Reduce Cancer Risk. J Canc Educ 33, 1102–1109 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13187-017-1217-4

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Keywords

  • Community health workers
  • Online learning
  • Culturally respectful
  • Culturally responsive
  • Culturally relevant
  • Alaska Native
  • Cancer prevention
  • Cancer education
  • Empowerment theory
  • Indigenous ways of knowing
  • Community-based participatory action research
  • Survey
  • Adult education