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Breast cancer screening among Vietnamese Americans: a randomized controlled trial of lay health worker outreach.

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Vietnamese-American women underutilize breast cancer screening.


An RCT was conducted comparing the effect of lay health workers (LHWs) and media education (ME) to ME alone on breast cancer screening among these women.


Conducted in California from 2004 to 2007, the study included 1100 Vietnamese-American women aged > or = 40 years who were recruited through LHW social networks. Data were analyzed from 2007 to 2009.


Both groups received targeted ME. The intervention group received two LHW educational sessions and two telephone calls.

Main outcome measures

Change in self-reported receipt of mammography ever, mammography within 2 years, clinical breast examination (CBE) ever, or CBE within 2 years.


The LHW+ME group increased receipt of mammography ever and mammography in the past 2 years (84.1% to 91.6% and 64.7% to 82.1%, p<0.001) while the ME group did not. Both ME (73.1% to 79.0%, p<0.001) and LHW+ME (68.1% to 85.5%, p<0.001) groups increased receipt of CBE ever, but the LHW+ME group had a significantly greater increase. The results were similar for CBE within 2 years. In multivariate analyses, LHW+ME was significantly more effective than ME for all four outcomes, with ORs of 3.62 (95% CI=1.35, 9.76) for mammography ever; 3.14 (95% CI=1.98, 5.01) for mammography within 2 years; 2.94 (95% CI=1.63, 5.30) for CBE ever; and 3.04 (95% CI=2.11, 4.37) for CBE within 2 years.


Lay health workers increased breast cancer screening among Vietnamese-American women.Future research should focus on how LHWs work and whether LHW outreach can be disseminated to other ethnic groups [corrected].

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