Community Based Participatory Research with Under- and Uninsured LGBT Identified Women to Increase Breast and Cervical Cancer Education and Screening: Lessons Learned
Purpose: Through a collaboration of academic scholars, community members, and community leaders at the Lesbian Health Initiative (LHI), this community-based participatory research (CBPR) was initiated to eliminate health disparities and improve health outcomes of under- and uninsured LGBT women at risk for cervical and/or breast cancer. This project had three goals; (1) to increase the number of inquiries for cancer education (2) increase the number of LGBT women recruited for preventive screenings (i.e., mammograms and pap tests) and (3) increase retention (i.e., decrease the number of “no-shows” for the preventive screenings.) This research was supported through a cancer control mini-grant in Texas.
Methods: Via their biannual health fairs and partnerships with community health services, LHI provides access to mammograms, pap tests, and other health care screenings free of charge to under- and uninsured LGBT women. To increase inquiries for cancer education and screening, multiple methods of outreach to the LGBT community had been used. To meet recruitment & retention goals, ProjectSAFe, an evidence-based model of patient navigation designed specifically to help at-risk populations overcome barriers to screening and follow-up care, was adapted. It was our hypotheses that multiple outreach methods would lead to a greater number of inquiries for cancer education and that integrating ProjectSAFe would increase the number of preventive screenings and lessen the number of “no shows” compared to the previous ye
Results: Preliminary results are promising suggesting a 16% increase in the number of health care inquiries including a 60% increase in Hispanic/Latina and African American LGBT women requesting education; a 12% increase in the number of LGBT women registering for mammograms and pap tests; and a 55% decrease in “no-shows” for cancer screenings over the previous year.
Implications: Implications include utilizing lessons learned to fine-tune current processes and develop future projects, benchmark this project for implementation in other cities, and embracing social work practice skills (i.e. communication and negotiation) as well as academic expertise to develop and maintain relationships with community leaders and volunteers.