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 screening among Hispanics who have rarely or never had a Pap test. CDC funded a randomized controlled trial that showed AMIGAS is effective in promoting cervical cancer screening (Pap tests) among Hispanics between ages 21 and 65 years.
AMIGAS is important because Hispanics have a high incidence of 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 the 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 or community health workers on how to deliver the AMIGAS intervention.
- Bilingual Flip Chart: An illustrated document in English and Spanish that presents information about cervical cancer and the Pap test, as well as short stories about real women.
- Contact Sheet: A form for promotoras or community health workers that provides information about every woman who participated in the AMIGAS intervention.
- Promise to Myself: A personalized form that outlines the specific actions a woman has committed to towards getting a Pap test.
- Resource Sheet: A form that each program can use to share specific information about Pap testing facilities, hours, and local transportation.
- Evaluation Form: A form that allows promotoras or community health workers to gather feedback from women who have participated in the AMIGAS intervention.
- Handout: Additional materials provided to help inform women about cervical cancer and the Pap test and the AMIGAS intervention.
- Body Diagrams: Pictures of the female reproductive system and the Pap test.
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.
- Lairson DR, Chang YC, Byrd TL, Lee Smith J, Fernandez ME, Wilson KM. Cervical cancer screening with AMIGAS: a cost-effectiveness analysis. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2014;46(6):617–623.
- 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.