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Sisters Saving Lives: Instituting a Protocol to Address Breast Cancer Disparities

Maggie A. Smith
Regina Conway-Phillips
Teena Francois-Blue
CJON 2016, 20(4), 427-432 DOI: 10.1188/16.CJON.427-432

Background: Caucasian women have a higher incidence of breast cancer compared to African American women; however, African American women are more likely to die from the disease than their Caucasian counterparts. Many efforts have been made to address this disparity, but it still exists. Data have shown factors contributing to this disparity, such as inequalities in health status, environment, access and use of care, socioeconomic status, knowledge, and cultural beliefs. Train-the-trainer programs have been widely used to address breast cancer disparities.

Objectives: The aims of this article are to (a) identify and describe breast cancer disparities in an urban setting, (b) describe the Sisters Saving Lives program as an evidence-based intervention to address breast cancer disparities, (c) describe how self-efficacy theory was used to guide and evaluate the development of this pilot project, (d) identify key stakeholders involved, and (e) summarize outcomes observed.

Methods: Self-efficacy theory served as a guide to the development of the train-the-trainer program to help address breast cancer disparities among African American women residing in Chicago.

Findings: Training African American breast cancer survivors to deliver a culturally competent message on breast health education to African American women who do not have a breast cancer diagnosis raised awareness of the disease and potentially can address breast cancer disparities among African American women residing in Chicago.

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