Science Advance: Community Health Workers & Community-based Participatory Research in Action

The ACTSI's Community Engagement Research Program (CERP) demonstrated that a new intervention to promote colorectal cancer screening among African Americans was as effective in practice as it was efficacious in research. This intervention is being reviewed for posting on Cancer PLANET, the NCI website that offers evidence-based interventions to cancer prevention programs.  NCI sought CERP input, acknowledging that NCI had relatively little to offer on colorectal cancer screening in their inventory of inventions.

To the best of CERP’s knowledge, this is the first intervention targeting African-Americans, who suffer disproportionately from this disease. With support from the Georgia Department of Public Health and the Georgia Cancer Coalition, this intervention is now being implemented across the state and a proposal to NIH for a nationwide dissemination research project was recently submitted. Blumenthal, DS, Smith, SA, Majett CD, and Alema-Mensah, E: A Trial of Three Interventions to Promote Colorectal Cancer Screening in African Americans. Cancer, 2010; 116: 922-929.

  • CERP Community Health Workers (CHW) are also implementing a three-year AHRQ study to address medication adherence issues among adults with type 2 diabetes and improve diabetes self-care i-ADAPT.  
  • Working through the Search Your Heart program, CERP CHWs screened more than 250 parishioners from nine area churches for hypertension, cholesterolemia and being overweight. Now the parishioners are participating in risk factor reduction  classes.