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Prev Med. 1995 Mar;24(2):142-8.

Increased cancer screening behavior in women of color by culturally sensitive video exposure.

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  • 1Division of Cancer Prevention and Control Research, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, California 90024, USA.



Electronic media have demonstrated efficacy in increasing knowledge and promoting health-protective behavior among individuals at high risk for chronic disease. In "Stimulating Cancer Screening among Women of Color through Video" (A. K. Yancey and L. Walden, 1994, J Cancer Educ 9:46-52) the development of a cost-effective documentary format for culturally sensitive health education videos was described. These videos could not be independently evaluated within the cancer control program for which they were developed.


A quasi-experimental study design tested the hypothesis that exposure to these videos increases cervical cancer screening behavior among samples of women from two clinic populations of predominantly low-income African-Americans and Latinos in New York City and Los Angeles. A 1-week-on-1-week-off design was utilized, in which the videos were continuously displayed in designated waiting rooms during on (intervention) weeks, with each facility serving as its own control during off weeks.


The proportion of women seen as patients during the intervention weeks who subsequently obtained Pap smears was significantly higher than that of those seen during the control weeks at each site (P < 0.05).


Culturally sensitive videos displayed in waiting rooms may be useful in health promotion efforts in communities of color. The similarity of results in both clinic sites suggests that Spanish-language tapes may be constructed to appeal to Latinos of different nationalities.

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