Barbers Against Prostate Cancer: An Intervention Assessing Viability of the Barbershop as a Venue for Prostate Cancer Education

Document Type


Publication Date



Background: Recent studies have emphasized the need for increasing informed decision making about prostate cancer screening among African-American men, who suffer disproportionately from poor health outcomes associated with prostate cancer compared to other men. One setting where African-American men can be educated about prostate cancer is the barbershop, which encourages social interaction and public discourse. The intervention “Barbers Against Prostate Cancer” assesses the viability of the barbershop as a venue to conduct prostate cancer education sessions among the barbers and clients to increase informed decision making for prostate cancer screening.

Methods: Ten barbershops were recruited from two micropolitan areas of central and southeast Georgia separated by a 2-hour drive. Structured interviews were conducted using a conversational style with the barbers (owners and employers of barbershops). The barbers were interviewed about the types of customers that come into their shops as well as their willingness to participate in the proposed intervention. The interviews were audio recorded and transcribed for analysis.

Results: The barbers reported that they see an average of 200 customers per week in their shops. African Americans make up between 60 to 90 percent of the barbershop customers. All of the owners/barbers interviewed believed prostate cancer was an important topic to discuss with their customers, felt they would be comfortable discussing prostate cancer, and supported their barbershop being involved with the intervention.

Conclusion: Based on the interviews conducted with the barbers, they are willing to engage in addressing the topic of prostate cancer for a behavioral efficacy trial.


American Public Health Association Annual Meeting (APHA)


New Orleans, LA