Evaluating a DVD promoting breast cancer awareness among black women aged 25–50 years in East London

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Abstract

Background

The mean age of presentation for breast cancer among black women is substantially earlier than their white counterparts. Black women also present with adverse prognostic factors that have major clinical implications, including lower survival. To pilot the use of a 6 min DVD on breast cancer in young (under 50 years) black women, to raise awareness and examine the impact of the DVD on increased consultation and referral rates among these women.

Methods

Two general practices (intervention practices) in the Hackney area were randomised to have the DVD mailed to all black women aged 25–50 years registered with the practices, and two practices to no intervention (control practices). EMIS data was used to compare consultation rates preintervention and postintervention, in the intervention as well as control practices. Interviews with practice staff and focus groups with patients in participating practices provided qualitative data on the study context and DVD effectiveness.

Results

A trend of declining consultations for breast symptoms was observed (−22% and −31% among non-black women in the control and intervention practices, and −23% among black women in the control practice) except among the target population of black women aged 25–50 years for the DVD in the intervention practices, which saw an increase of 28% in consultations. The qualitative data indicated that the DVD was well received in the target population, and suggested further ways of disseminating awareness messages and overcoming barriers to help-seeking.

Conclusions

Pilot results suggest that the strategy of distributing the DVD may increase consultations for breast problems.

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