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Cancer Causes Control. 2003 Oct;14(8):727-37.

Cancer prevention for working class, multi-ethnic populations through health centers: the healthy directions study.

Author information

  • 1Harvard School of Public Health and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Center for Community-Based Research, 44 Binney Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA. karen_emmons@dfci.harvard.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This paper presents the study design and baseline data from Healthy Directions-Health Centers (HCs), a study designed to address social contextual factors in cancer prevention interventions for working class, multi-ethnic populations. This study is part of the Harvard Cancer Prevention Program Project.

METHODS:

Ten community HCs were paired and randomly assigned to intervention or control. Patients who resided in low income, multi-ethnic neighborhoods were identified and approached for participation. This study targeted fruit and vegetable consumption, red meat consumption, multi-vitamin intake, and physical activity. The intervention components consisted of: (1) a brief in-person study endorsement from the participant's clinician at a scheduled routine care visit; (2) an initial in-person counseling session with a health advisor; (3) four follow-up telephone counseling sessions; (4) multiple mailings of tailored materials; and (5) linkages to relevant activities in the local community.

RESULTS:

Fifteen percent of the sample smoked, 86% reported eating fewer than five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, 50% reported eating more than the recommended amounts of red meat, 40% did not meet recommended physical activity levels, and 63% did not take a multi-vitamin on a daily basis. Although overall social support was high, participants reported low levels of social norms for the target prevention behaviors. Other social contextual mediators and modifying factors are reported.

CONCLUSIONS:

By examining the relationships between social contextual factors and health behaviors, it may be possible to enhance the effectiveness of interventions aimed at reducing social inequalities in risk behaviors.

PMID:
14674737
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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