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Fostering Early Breast Cancer Detection: Faith Community Nurses Reaching At-Risk Populations

Judy A. Shackelford

Diana P. Weyhenmeyer

Linda K. Mabus

breast self-examinations, faith community nursing, rural populations, at-risk populations, breast cancer, education, healthcare disparities
CJON 2014, 18(6), E113-E117. DOI: 10.1188/14.CJON.E113-E117

This article examines how faith community nurses (FCNs) fostered early breast cancer detection for those at risk in rural and African American populations throughout nine counties in midwestern Illinois to decrease breast cancer disparities. Flexible methods for breast cancer awareness education through FCNs, effective strategies for maximizing participation, and implications for practice were identified. In addition, networking within faith communities, connecting with complementary activities scheduled in those communities, and offering refreshments and gift items that support educational efforts were identified as effective ways of maximizing outcomes and reinforcing learning. Flexible educational programming that could be adapted to situational and learning needs was important to alleviate barriers in the project. As a result, the number of participants in the breast cancer awareness education program exceeded the grant goal, and the large number of African American participants and an unexpected number of Hispanic and Latino participants exceeded the target.

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