Introduction: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most commonly diagnosed and one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in both Latino men and women. Latino adults also have disproportionately lower CRC screening rates than their white peers.
Methods: To improve CRC education and screening rates, we at UT Health San Antonio used a variety of culturally tailored activities and partnerships to engage the majority-Latino local community to promote and implement the national Screen to Save (S2S): NCI Colorectal Cancer Outreach and Screening Initiative. Our local S2S efforts focused on one-on-one patient encounters at the clinic level, community-wide outreach events, training and incorporating community health workers, and airing powerful Latino role model stories and education through partnerships with local Spanish-language TV station Univision, as well as digitally via the Salud America! Latino health and social media platform.
Results: For one-on-one outreach, we partnered with CommuniCare, a local Federally Qualified Health Center situated in high-risk and underserved parts of town, to deliver CRC education via flipchart and screening via FIT kit. Pre- and post-survey data showed increased knowledge and strong intention to get screened for CRC. At 3-month follow-up, strong positive behavior change was observed with majority of patients (73.4%) talking to their doctor about CRC screening and half of patients (51.1%) completing CRC screening as a result of the initiative. We also partnered with the Mays Cancer Center to host tours of a giant inflatable colon, where we educated more than 250 individuals, and invited partners such as the American Cancer Society to participate in educational outreach. Because stories are a proven and powerful tool to motivate people to get screened, we recruited real-life community role models and CRC survivors to help us reach the broader community. Our role models, including a Latina mother diagnosed at age 33 and a Latino husband and wife each diagnosed with CRC, shared their experience with screening, early detection, treatment, and survivorship. We shared these role models' stories of resiliency and hope on multimedia platforms—blogs, social media, and weekly TV segments on Univision. Overall, through our in-person and digital implementation of S2S, we were able to educate more than 450 individuals and distribute 244 FIT kits.
Conclusion: We observed increased CRC knowledge, attitudes, positive behavior change, intent for screening, and screening thanks to our culturally tailored, bilingual in-person educational intervention and multimedia approach.
Citation Format: Sneha Prabhu, Armida Flores, Kipling J. Gallion, Edgar Munoz, Laura Tenner, Amelie G. Ramirez. Using a multimodal strategy to engage Latino communities and improve colorectal cancer screening disparities [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Eleventh AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved; 2018 Nov 2-5; New Orleans, LA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2020;29(6 Suppl):Abstract nr B118.