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Colorectal Cancer Screening and Chinese Americans: Efficacy of Lay Health Worker Outreach and Print Materials.

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Chinese Americans have low colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates. Evidence-based interventions to increase CRC screening in this population are lacking. This study aims to compare the efficacy of two interventions in increasing CRC screening among Chinese Americans.


Cluster randomized comparative trial.


From 2010 to 2014, a community-academic team conducted this study in San Francisco, CA with Chinese Americans aged 50-75 years who spoke English, Cantonese, or Mandarin.


Lay health worker (LHW) intervention plus in-language brochure (LHW+Print) versus brochure (Print). LHWs in the LHW+Print arm were trained to teach participants about CRC in two small group sessions and two telephone calls.

Main outcome measures

Change in self-reports of ever having had CRC screening and being up to date for CRC screening from baseline to 6 months post-intervention. Statistical analysis was performed from 2014 to 2015.


This study recruited 58 LHWs, who in turn recruited 725 participants. The average age of the participants was 62.2 years, with 81.1% women and 99.4% foreign born. Knowledge increase was significant (p<0.002) for nine measures in the LHW+Print group and six in the Print group. Both groups had increases in having ever been screened for CRC (LHW+Print, 73.9%-88.3%, p<0.0001; Print, 72.3%-79.5%, p=0.0003) and being up to date for CRC screening (LHW+Print, 60.0%-78.1%, p<0.0001; Print, 58.1%-64.1%, p=0.0003). In multivariable analyses, the intervention OR for LHW+Print versus Print was 1.94 (95% CI=1.34, 2.79) for ever screening and 2.02 (95% CI=1.40, 2.90) for being up to date.


Both in-language print materials and LHW outreach plus print materials increased CRC screening among Chinese Americans. The combination of LHW+Print was more effective than Print alone. These findings can guide clinicians and policymakers in choosing appropriate interventions to increase CRC screening among Chinese American immigrants.

Trial registration

This study is registered at NCT00947206.

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