Targeting and tailoring health communications in breast screening interventions

Mehra Shirazi, Kimberly K. Engelman, Olive Mbah, Aida Shirazi, Irma Robbins, Janice Bowie, Rona Popal, Arlene Wahwasuck, Denice Whalen-White, Allen Greiner, Adrian Dobs, Joan Bloom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Members of underrepresented minority (URM) groups are at higher risk of disproportionately experiencing greater breast cancer-related morbidity and mortality and thus, require effective interventions that both appropriately target and tailor to their unique characteristics. Objectives: We sought to describe the targeting and tailoring practices used in the development and dissemination of three breast cancer screening interventions among URM groups. Methods: Three national Community Network Programs (CNPs) funded by the National Cancer Institute have focused on breast cancer screening interventions as their major research intervention. Each targeted different populations and used participatory research methods to design their intervention tailored to the needs of their respective audience. The Alameda County Network Program (ACNP) to Reduce Cancer Disparities partnered with community members to design and conduct 2-hour “Tea Party” education sessions for Afghan women. The Kansas Community Cancer Disparities Network co-developed and deployed with community members a computerized Healthy Living Kansas (HLK) Breast Health program for rural Latina and American Indian women. The Johns Hopkins Center to Reduce Cancer Disparities employed a train-the-trainer COACH approach to educate urban African-American women about breast cancer. Conclusions: Each CNP program targeted diverse URM women and, using participatory approaches, tailored a range of interventions to promote breast cancer screening. Although all projects shared the same goal outcome, each program tailored their varying interventions to match the target community needs, demonstrating the importance and value of these strategies in reducing breast cancer disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-89
Number of pages7
JournalProgress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action
StatePublished - Jul 24 2015


  • Breast screening
  • Community-participatory research
  • Intervention
  • Tailoring
  • Targeting
  • Underrepresented minority

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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