Reaching Hard to Reach Populations with Hard to Communicate Messages: Efficacy of a Breast Health Research Champion Training Program

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A Breast Health Research Champion training program was a developed targeting self-identified community breast health advocates from a predominant African-American community with a significant breast cancer mortality disparity. Twelve individuals completed the program that provided training in breast cancer risk and screening, breast cancer research, biospecimen in cancer research, and human research subject protection. The training emphasized four key messages to be disseminated to the community. Trainees hosted a minimum of two social chats with individuals from their social networks and functioned as community researchers, acquiring consent and gathering follow-up data from attendees. Trainees reached 199 individuals from their social networks, and chats were diverse in the venue selected, mode of message transmission, and the audience reached. Post/pre questionnaire data from attendees at the chats showed significant improvement in knowledge, attitudes, and intended behaviors as it relates to breast cancer screening, clinical research, and biospecimen in research. Forty percent of attendees provided 4-week follow-up information. Of respondents eligible for mammography, 38 % had taken action to be screened, and 86 % of respondents had spoken about the information to someone else in their social network. Trainees expressed feelings of empowerment after completing the project, “feeling like the expert,” and all trainees were surprised at the enthusiastic response from attendees of their chats. Trainees continued to disseminate the information learned from the training program during the 6 months following the training, reaching an additional 786 individuals in the community.



Social Sciences, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Oncology, Education, Scientific Disciplines, Public, Environmental & Occupational Health, Education & Educational Research, Breast cancer disparity, Clinical research, Biospecimen, Training program, African-American, CLINICAL-TRIALS, Public Health, 1110 Nursing, 1117 Public Health and Health Services