Integrative Multimedia Programme for promoting south Asians’ Cancer screening upTake (IMPACT) programme
To increase the uptake of accessible cervical cancer screening information and services in ethnic minority communities
Regular cervical cancer screening is effective in reducing cancer risk by up to 95%. Ethnic minorities have much lower uptake rates than the general population. Our research identified barriers, such as limited awareness and accessibility, to cancer screening in South Asians (SAs), the largest minority group in Hong Kong and its neighbouring countries. In collaboration with community partners, we have developed and tested an IMPACT programme to improve SA women’s screening uptake.
The IMPACT programme consists of two major parts. First, a multimedia educational programme was delivered to South Asian women in local communities on the prevention of cervical cancer, with the aim to enhance SA women’s knowledge of cervical cancer and self-efficacy in undergoing screening. Second, we developed a training programme for local South Asians for them to act as community health workers, so that they became competent in educating their community peers on the importance of cervical cancer screening utilisation.
The IMPACT programme is linguistically-appropriate and culturally-relevant for SA women, which increases the uptake of cervical cancer screening through enhancing knowledge and positive attitudes towards cervical cancer screening and improved service accessibility.
In 2015-17, with the support of 54 non-governmental organisations (NGOs), we delivered IMPACT, the evidence-based multimedia intervention, in 11 out of 18 districts (>60%) in Hong Kong. Among the 1,061 SA women who received it, over 90% reported it had enhanced their knowledge and awareness of cervical cancer screening and prevention, accessibility to disease information/screening services, and self-efficacy in undertaking such screening. The programme’s reach to the local population, particularly different groups of ethnic minorities, has expanded further via our website named ‘Say “No” to Chronic Diseases’ which was established in July 2018 with its hyperlink added in more than 10 community partners’ websites or social media.
Hong Kong has six non-government organisations (NGOs) providing supportive programmes for various ethnic minorities. Our team has trained up six community health workers in four partner NGOs who successfully facilitated over 200 SA women to take part in the cervical cancer screening test. Due to the success of this CHW-led training programme, all the four partner NGOs agreed to engage the trained CHWs in organising activities quarterly to promote cervical cancer screening to their members. The other two NGOs agreed to nominate their staff to attend CHW training.
The IMPACT programme has successfully been adopted outside Hong Kong and in less developed Asian countries such as Nepal. With the support from the Asian College for Advance Studies, affiliated to Purbhanchal University and the Nobel College, affiliated to Pokhara University, the project team reached out in February 2019 to educate 300 healthcare providers, nursing students and educators who take a vital role in educating the public about the importance of cervical cancer screening. The Government of Nepal has recognised our expertise and fully supports us to implement the IMPACT programme to women in the rural area.
Professor SO Kwok Wei, Winnie
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