• Promoting colorectal cancer screening among Haitian Americans

      Coughlin, Steven S.; Lubetkin, Erica I.; Hay, Jennifer L.; Raphael, Renald; Smith, Selina A.; University of Massachusetts; Emory University; The City College of New York; Medical College of Georgia; Georgia Regents University (Journal of the Georgia Public Health Association, 2015)
      Background: Few studies have examined colorectal cancer screening among Haitian Americans, although striking disparities in colorectal cancer screening and mortality are well-documented among U.S. Blacks. Race, socioeconomic status, and place of birth are factors associated with colorectal cancer incidence and mortality patterns. Methods: In this article, we summarize published studies on colorectal cancer screening among Haitian Americans, identified through bibliographic searches in PubMed and CINAHL through August 2015, and offer recommendations for further research. Results: Only one qualitative study and three quantitative surveys have examined colorectal cancer screening among Haitian Americans. A qualitative study found important differences in perceptions of the curability of colorectal cancer, preventive practices, and preferred sources of information among Haitian Americans and other ethnic subgroups of U.S. Blacks. Awareness of colorectal cancer screening tests, risk perception, healthcare provider recommendation, and self-reported use of screening are suboptimal among Haitian Americans and other subgroups. In preliminary quantitative studies, Haitian immigrants have been found to have lower colorectal cancer screening rates than other groups such as African Americans. Conclusions: Culturally appropriate educational interventions are needed to encourage Haitian American adults aged > 50 years to undergo screening for colorectal cancer and to ensure that they are well informed about the value of healthy eating and physical activity.
    • Sexual health education in Georgia: A role for reducing sexually transmitted infections among adolescents

      Gates, Madison L.; Walker, Veronica; Webb, Nancy C.; Georgia Regents University (Journal of the Georgia Public Health Association, 2015)
      Background: In Georgia, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a substantial health issue, particularly among young adults in vulnerable and minority populations. The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends that sexually active adolescents and at-risk adults receive behavioral counseling and education in primary care settings, community organizations, departments of health, and schools Methods: The present approach used in Georgia for educating adolescents at high risk for STIs about these diseases was assessed. The data collected included standards for sexual health education, survey results from educators and students, and observations from a pilot study with adolescents detained by the juvenile justice system. Results: In Georgia, most health educators for middle (87.3%) and high (93.8%) schools have health and/or physical education backgrounds. They indicated a need for further education about STIs. For grades 6-12, 24% of students reported that they had not received HIV/AIDS education during the academic year. Preliminary observations from a study with juvenile detainees indicate that this population has limited knowledge about STIs, their effects and modes of transmission. Conclusion: Sexual health education, including that for HIV/AIDS, is essential to curtail the STI crisis, and educational endeavors should be culturally sensitive and evidence-based. In Georgia, many citizens, including teachers, are not adequately equipped to make informed decisions regarding STI risk. Georgia, home to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is in a unique position to adapt evidence-based sexual health interventions for its population.