A longitudinal follow-up study of participants in cervical and prostate health education programs in Southeast Georgia

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Introduction: The cervical cancer mortality rate (Southeast Georgia 2001 – 2005) was 3.3 / 100,000 compared to 2.5 / 100,000 nationally. Likewise, the region’s prostate cancer mortality rate for African-Americans (2001 – 2005) was 63.7 / 100,000 compared to 59.4 / 100,000 nationally. In 2006 – 2008, education programs were developed for school – based delivery for mothers/daughters cervical cancer screening and HPV vaccination and community – based delivery for prostate screening information to African – American males; programs were delivered in Southeast Georgia. Late in 2008, a study determined the success of the programs.

Methods: Educational program attendees (2006 – 2008) were telephone surveyed to determine their post program behaviors and actions regarding cancer screening and HPV vaccination. Data was analyzed separately for both groups (cervical/HPV and prostate).

Results: The cervical screening group of sixty-five (n=65), 88% of age appropriate respondents received Pap smear testing while 35% of age appropriate respondents received HPV vaccination. The prostate screening group of fifty (n=50), 96% of participants followed prostate screening guidelines; only 4% of the age appropriate education attendees did not seek follow-up prostate cancer screening.

Conclusions: Concerning the cervical screening and HPV group, evidence suggests that the education program has improved awareness and served as a catalyst for women to seek Pap smear testing and HPV vaccination (12 – 27 year olds for HPV); however, more awareness is necessary for improved HPV vaccination rates. The prostate education program was successful in that 96% of program participants followed prostate screening guidelines based on age, family history and risk factors.

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