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J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2008 Feb;19(1):216-26. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2008.0017.

Hair salon stylists as breast cancer prevention lay health advisors for African American and Afro-Caribbean women.

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  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, State University of New York (SUNY), Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA.



To assess the effectiveness of breast health promoting messages administered by salon stylists to clients in the salon setting.


Forty salons in an urban, minority area were randomly assigned to provide messages to clients or to serve as controls. Pre-intervention surveys were completed by 1,185 salon clients. Following program initiation, assessments of 1,210 clients were conducted.


Among women completing surveys at control salons, 10% reported exposure to breast health messages, as opposed to 37% at experimental salons (OR 5.4, 95% CI 3.7-7.9). Self-reported exposure to stylist-delivered messages was associated with improved breast self-examination rates (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.2-2.1) and with greater intentions to have a clinical breast examination (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.1-3.3).


Hair salons are a potentially important venue for promotion of health behaviors related to breast cancer detection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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