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Community-Based Participatory Research Increases Cervical Cancer Screening among Vietnamese-Americans

Using community-based participatory research methods, a community-research coalition in Santa Clara County, California (SCC) conducted a quasi-experimental, controlled trial to increase Pap test receipt and to build community capacity among Vietnamese-American women. From 1999 to 2004, the Coalition planned and implemented an Action Plan with six components: multimedia campaign, lay health worker outreach, Vietnamese Pap clinic with patient navigation, registry and reminder system, continuing medical education for Vietnamese physicians, and restoring a Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program site. Components were evaluated individually. Community-wide, cross-sectional telephone surveys of Vietnamese women in SCC (intervention community) and Harris County, Texas (comparison community) measured overall project impact. Receipt and currency of Pap tests increased significantly in the intervention compared with the comparison community. Community involvement, system changes, community and research capacity building, dissemination of results, and program sustainability were also demonstrated. Community-based participatory research is feasible and effective in Vietnamese-American communities.