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AMIGAS: A Cervical Cancer Prevention Trial Among Mexican-American Women

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Hispanic women, including Mexican-American women, are less likely to be screened for cervical cancer and more likely to die from the disease than non-Hispanic white women. AMIGAS (Ayudando a Las Mujeres con Información, Guía y Amor para su Salud or Helping Women with Information, Guidance, and Love for Their Health) is a bilingual educational program designed to help community health workers increase cervical cancer screening among Hispanic women who have rarely or never had a Pap test. The purpose of this study was to see whether AMIGAS increased cervical cancer screening within six months.

The study was conducted in three cities: El Paso, Texas; Houston, Texas; and Yakima Valley, Washington. The women chosen for the study were of Mexican origin, 21–65 years old, with no history of cervical cancer, no hysterectomy, and no cervical cancer screening within the past three years.

The full AMIGAS toolkit includes instruction guides, a video, a flip chart, message cards, and body diagrams. This study divided the participants into three groups to compare the effectiveness of the tools—

  • One group used the full AMIGAS program (video and flip chart).
  • One group used the AMIGAS program without the video (flip chart group).
  • One group used the AMIGAS program without the flip chart (video group).

Of the 613 women who participated in the study—

  • 52% of women who used the full AMIGAS program reported getting a Pap test within six months.
  • 46% of women in the flip chart group reported getting a Pap test within six months.
  • 41% of women in the video group reported getting a Pap test within six months.

When used in a one-to-one setting, AMIGAS increased cervical cancer screening among Mexican-American women who live in border, urban, and rural areas. Pap testing increased in all three AMIGAS study groups compared to those receiving usual health care.

Citation

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.

 
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