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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2010 Jan;19(1):201-10. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-09-0569.

Randomized trial of a lay health advisor and computer intervention to increase mammography screening in African American women.

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Indiana University School of Nursing, 1111 Middle Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.



Low-income African American women face numerous barriers to mammography screening. We tested the efficacy of a combined interactive computer program and lay health advisor intervention to increase mammography screening.


In this randomized, single blind study, participants were 181 African American female health center patients of ages 41 to 75 years, at < or =250% of poverty level, with no breast cancer history, and with no screening mammogram in the past 15 months. They were assigned to either (a) a low-dose comparison group consisting of a culturally appropriate mammography screening pamphlet or (b) interactive, tailored computer instruction at baseline and four monthly lay health advisor counseling sessions. Self-reported screening data were collected at baseline and 6 months and verified by medical record.


For intent-to-treat analysis of primary outcome (medical record-verified mammography screening, available on all but two participants), the intervention group had increased screening to 51% (45 of 89) compared with 18% (16 of 90) for the comparison group at 6 months. When adjusted for employment status, disability, first-degree relatives with breast cancer, health insurance, and previous breast biopsies, the intervention group was three times more likely (adjusted relative risk, 2.7; 95% confidence interval, 1.8-3.7; P < 0.0001) to get screened than the low-dose comparison group. Similar results were found for self-reported mammography stage of screening adoption.


The combined intervention was efficacious in improving mammography screening in low-income African American women, with an unadjusted effect size (relative risk, 2.84) significantly higher (P < 0.05) than that in previous studies of each intervention alone.

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