Developing and Testing Lay Literature About Breast Cancer Screening for African American Women

Elizabeth Ann Coleman

Sharon Coon

Carolyn Mohrmann

Susan Hardin

Carol B. Stewart

Regina Shoate Gibson

Mary Ann Cantrell

Janet Lord

Jeanne Heard

breast self-examination, mammography, preventive health services
CJON 2003, 7(1), 66-71. DOI: 10.1188/03.CJON.66-71

Written materials about breast cancer screening for African American women with low literacy skills are needed. Available materials were not at or below thirdgrade reading levels, were not culturally sensitive, and were not accurate in illustrating correct breast self-examination (BSE) techniques. Focus groups representing the target population helped the authors design a pamphlet describing how to perform BSE and a motivational picture book to help women overcome barriers to screening. The authors chose a food theme for the cover of the pamphlet written at a third-grade level and suggested a photographic version. In the motivational book, two women address barriers to screening and replace myths and fears with facts and actions. Data from 162 women showed that they learned from both the photographic and illustrated versions. Women in the photographic group found significantly more lumps in the silicone models, so the authors chose that version to use in final testing. Finally, nurses pretested a group of patients before they reviewed the materials and post-tested another group after they reviewed them. The group who had reviewed the materials had greater knowledge of and intent to follow the guidelines and received higher scores on BSE techniques.

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