David Haggstrom, M.D., MAS, says knowledge doesn’t necessarily equate to follow-through and discusses possibilities for future study.
Looking within our Hispanic population we did find that higher income individuals were more likely to have accurate knowledge about the age in which to start cancer screening. The lack of association, however, between knowledge and cancer screening is not unusual. Knowledge of a disease or the benefit of a medical service is not always sufficient to promote the behavior, so we need to think of multiple ways to reach and influence people, whether that’s through social support or provider recommendations or public health messages. Our future study we would like to operate in both clinical and community settings to promote increased cancer screening among Latinos in the state of Indiana and elsewhere.
Gerardo Maupomé, BDS, MSc, PhD, discusses underrepresentation of Hispanics in research, the techniques used to garner participation in a recent survey, and the resulting demographic representation.
About five years ago, the Cancer Center did conduct a large-scale study for the entire state of Indiana. But it was pretty evident, like many of these surveys, that there is considerable underrepresentation of Hispanics. Because of the personal approach that we used, we were able to invite and obtain information from people who would not normally participate in this kind of thing. And this is why we brought information that seems to be far richer than the original data collection. The first interesting thing is that we have a fresh directly relevant information for the Hispanic population in Indiana. That’s number one.
Number two is that there is a representation that is interesting in that it has a large number of Hispanics born in the U.S., some first and some second-generation immigrants. And there is also a wide distribution of income and education. So we are not really looking at what would be the stereotypical Hispanic immigrant, but actually it really tapped into a lot of different groups that make up the Latino community.
An interesting thing about our study is that we learned some unique information through special questions we asked about differences in beliefs around cancer and its effect on their lives. Perceptions of being at risk for cancer were higher among individuals of higher socioeconomic status, so they were more worried or alarmed about the likelihood of developing cancer.
The idea is to have a better representation of the Hispanic population in terms of perceptions, risk factors and beliefs about cancer. We were counting on using Internet-based outlets and to reach out through the community centers, and then the pandemic happened.
So basically what we have is to amalgamate the two ideas and showcase through the Telemundo shows and through the Facebook pages of community organizations and call people to file the surveys via the Internet.