AMIGAS stands for "Ayudando a Las Mujeres con Información, Guía y Amor para su Salud." In English, this means "Helping Women with Information, Guidance, and Love for Their Health." AMIGAS is a bilingual educational outreach intervention designed to help promotoras (community health workers) and other lay health educators increase cervical cancer screeningcervical cancer screening among Hispanics who have rarely or never had a Pap test. CDC funded a recent randomized controlled trial that showed AMIGAS is effective in promoting cervical cancer screening (Pap tests) among Hispanics aged 21 to 65 years.
AMIGAS is important because—
- Hispanics are less likely to get a Pap test than non-Hispanic whites.
- Hispanics have a high incidence of cervical cancer.
- Hispanics are at high risk of dying from cervical cancer.
- Designed for use in a variety of settings, including those with lower resources.
- Developed in conjunction with the community.
AMIGAS is a proven health education model that—
- Is built on a recommendation from the Community Preventive Services Task Force that one-on-one education increases Pap test use.
- Works with women who are experienced promotoras in their communities to deliver the education.
- Stresses how information and skills learned in the intervention will help women, their families, and their communities stay healthy.
- Provides culturally appropriate bilingual information.
- Uses naturally occurring social networks to recruit women.
AMIGAS contains several components, including—
- Promotora Instruction Guide: Provides detailed steps for trained promotoras on how to deliver the intervention.
- Video: Hispanic women of different ages discussing the benefits of the Pap test and some of the barriers they face.
- Flip chart: An illustrated bilingual document that presents information about cervical cancer and the Pap test, as well as short stories about real women.
- Message cards: An interactive way to learn how ready a woman is to get a Pap test, and messages to help her become more ready.
- Body diagrams: Pictures of the female reproductive system [PDF-166KB] and the Pap test. [PDF-149KB]
- Medical instruments: Examples of medical instruments used during a Pap test.
- Information sheets and brochures: Additional materials provided to help inform women about cervical cancer and the Pap test.
- Administrator's Guide: A booklet to help administrators decide if AMIGAS is the right intervention for their organization and how to use it.
AMIGAS is the result of collaboration of researchers and community members including—
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Texas Tech University Paul L. Foster School of Medicine
- University of Texas School of Public Health
- Center for Public Health Research and Evaluation at Battelle
- Colaborativo SABER (San Diego, California)
- Lorena Sprager and Associates, LLC of the Clear Language Group (Oregon)
- Nuestra Comunidad Sana (Our Healthy Community) from The Next Door, Inc.
- Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic (Yakima, Washington)
These researchers have years of experience working with the Hispanic community and have published several articles about their work on the AMIGAS intervention.
- Smith JL, Wilson KM, Orians CE, Byrd TL. AMIGAS: Building a cervical cancer screening intervention for public health practice. Journal of Women's Health 2013;22(9):718–723.
- Byrd TL, Wilson KM, Smith JL, Coronado GD, Vernon SW, Fernandez-Esquer ME, Thompson B, Ortiz M, Lairson D, Fernandez ME. AMIGAS: A multi-city, multi-component cervical cancer prevention trial among Mexican American women. Cancer 2013;119(7):1365–1372.
- Byrd TL, Wilson KM, Smith JL, Heckert A, Orians CE, Vernon SW, Fernandez-Esquer ME, Fernandez ME. Using intervention mapping as a participatory strategy: development of a cervical cancer screening intervention for Hispanic women. Health Education and Behavior 2012;39(5):603–611.
- Byrd TL, Chavez R, Wilson KM. Barriers and facilitators of cervical cancer screening among Hispanic women. Ethnicity and Disease 2007;17:129–134.
- Wilson KM, Orians CE. Considerations in recruiting underscreened women to focus groups on screening for cervical cancer. Health Promotion Practice 2005;6(4):379–384.
- Byrd TL, Peterson SK, Chavez R, Heckert A. Cervical cancer screening beliefs among young Hispanic women. Preventive Medicine 2004;38(2):92–197.
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