Promoting cancer screening among churchgoing Latinas: Fe en Acción/faith in action

J. P. Elder, J. Haughton, L. G. Perez, M. E. Martínez, C. L. De La Torre, D. J. Slymen, E. M. Arredondo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Cancer screening rates among Latinas are generally low, reducing the likelihood of early cancer detection in this population. This article examines the effects of a community intervention (Fe en Acción/Faith in Action) led by community health workers (promotoras) on promoting breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening among churchgoing Latinas. Sixteen churches were randomly assigned to a cancer screening or a physical activity intervention. We examined cancer knowledge, barriers to screening and self-reported mammography, clinical breast exam, Pap test, fecal occult blood test and sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy at baseline and 12 months follow-up. Participants were 436 adult Latinas, with 16 promotoras conducting a cancer screening intervention at 8 out of 16 churches. The cancer screening intervention had a significant positive impact on self-reported mammography (OR = 4.64, 95% CI: 2.00-10.75) and breast exams in the last year (OR= 2.82, 95% CI: 1.41-5.57) and corresponding reductions in perceived (87.6%) barriers to breast cancer screening (P < .008). Cervical and colorectal cancer screening did not improve with the intervention. These findings suggest Fe en Accion church-based promotoras had a significant impact on promoting breast cancer screening among Latinas. Colon cancer screening promotion, however, remains a challenge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-173
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Education Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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