A Theory-Based and Culturally Aligned Training Program on Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention for South Asian Community Health Workers: A Feasibility Study
Cancer screening uptake among South Asian ethnic minorities is reported to be relatively low. An outreach program, led by community health workers (CHWs), may increase the minority group’s awareness of the importance of cancer screening.Objective
The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of a theory-based, culturally sensitive program to train South Asian women in Hong Kong as CHWs.Methods
A CHW training program, guided by the Empowerment Model and the Health Belief Model, was developed and implemented. Its feasibility was evaluated through the recruitment of South Asian women to the program and their satisfaction with it. Its effectiveness was assessed by a test of knowledge, the participants’ self-efficacy and competence, and their readiness to work as CHWs.Results
Five South Asian women were recruited to the training program. Outcomes included increased participants’ knowledge of cancer and improved self-efficacy and competence in working as CHWs. All participants were highly satisfied with the program, although the addition of practical sessions in the South Asian community was suggested as a further improvement.Conclusion
It seems to be feasible to train South Asian CHWs to deliver interventions to promote their peers’ awareness of breast and cervical cancer prevention, although challenges exist in recruitment of trainees. More hands-on practical opportunities as CHWs would likely increase their effectiveness.Implications for Practice
The theoretical framework of our CHW training program and the incorporated cultural components could be useful for the development of future programs for training South Asian CHWs in delivering interventions on cancer prevention.