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Community Empowerment Partners (CEPs): A Breast Health Education Program for African-American Women

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Abstract

Peer educators have been shown to provide effective interventions in breast cancer screening. Few studies have compared the effects of peer education on breast cancer knowledge among peer educators and the community members who are subsequently reached through the peer education. Further, little is known as to whether those who received the education then go on to educate others in the community. The purpose of this study is to address those gaps. Using a pre- and post-test study design, we trained peer educators, provided the educators with resources to train community members, and assessed changes in knowledge. We sought to train ten educators and recommended each train ten community members in breast cancer knowledge and screening strategies. A total of 14 peer educators were trained, who subsequently trained a total of 121 community members, of whom 94 were African American women. Peer educators and community members, showed comparable increases in knowledge. Community members who were educated also increased intention to discuss breast cancer and breast cancer screening with their family, friends, and acquaintances. Our study suggests that it is feasible to train peer educators to increase knowledge among community members to the same level that they themselves experience when trained. Further, community members are interested in sharing information learned related to how much they learn from peer educators.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to thank all the Cierra Empowerment Partners and all the members of the community who were involved in this project. We also thank Dr. Kerryn Reding and Ashley Scherman from the University of Washington for their technical assistance. This project was supported by Grant No. P30CA015704 from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Institute of Translational Health Science Grant (UL1 RR025014) from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). YM’s effort on this project was also supported by the University of Illinois Cancer Center and Center for Research on Women and Gender as well as Grant Nos. K01CA193918, U54CA202995, U54CA202997, and U54CA203000 from NCI. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NCI, NCRR, or the National Institutes of Health.

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Correspondence to Katherine J. Briant.

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Hempstead, B., Green, C., Briant, K.J. et al. Community Empowerment Partners (CEPs): A Breast Health Education Program for African-American Women. J Community Health 43, 833–841 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10900-018-0490-4

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