Health volunteerism and improved cancer health for Latina and African American women and their social networks: Potential mechanisms

Molina, Yamile, McKell, Marnyce S., Mendoza, Norma, Barbour, Lynda, Berrios, Nerida M., Murray, Kate, & Ferrans, Carol Estwing (2016) Health volunteerism and improved cancer health for Latina and African American women and their social networks: Potential mechanisms. Journal of Cancer Education. (In Press)

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Health volunteerism has been associated with positive health outcomes for volunteers and the communities they serve. This work suggests that there may be an added value to providing underserved populations with information and skills to be agents of change. The current study is a first step toward testing this hypothesis. The purpose is to identify how volunteerism may result in improved cancer health among Latina and African American women volunteers. A purposive sample of 40 Latina and African American female adults who had participated in cancer volunteerism in the past five years was recruited by community advocates and flyers distributed throughout community venues in San Diego, CA. This qualitative study included semi-structured focus groups. Participants indicated that volunteerism not only improved their health, but also the health of their family and friends. Such perceptions aligned with the high rates of self-report lifetime cancer screening rates among age-eligible patients (e.g., 83-93%:breast; 90-93%:cervical; 79-92%:colorectal). Identified mechanisms included exposure to evidence-based information, health-protective social norms and support, and pressure to be a healthy role model. Our findings suggest that train-the-trainer and volunteer-driven interventions may have unintended health-protective effects for participating staff, especially those from the current study’s populations.

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ID Code: 98512
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: cancer disparities, Latina, African American, volunteerism
DOI: 10.1007/s13187-016-1061-y
ISSN: 1543-0154
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 American Association for Cancer Education
Copyright Statement: The final publication is available at Springer via
Deposited On: 30 Aug 2016 23:14
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2016 17:41

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