Arkansas Special Populations Access Network perception versus reality - Cancer screening in primary care clinics

William Rutledge, Regina Gibson, Eric Siegel, Kelly Duke, Rise Jones, Diane Rucinski, Gary Nunn, W. Alvin Torrence, Charlotte Lewellen-Williams, Chara Stewart, Kimberly Blann, Larry Belleton, Lindsey Fincher, V. Suzanne Klimberg, Paul Greene, Billy Thomas, Deborah Erwin, Ronda Henry-Tillman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The origin of cancer health disparities and mortality in Arkansas is multifactorial. In response to a cooperative agreement with the National Cancer Institute's Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities, the Arkansas Special Populations Access Network (ASPAN) was developed to reduce these disparities. ASPAN's partnership with local primary care physicians of the Arkansas Medical, Dental, and Pharmaceutical Association through the Cancer Education Awareness Program is the focus of this article. A quasi-experimental intervention, the Community Cancer Education Awareness Program, was employed that included 1) physician education to increase awareness of risk factors and cancer screening; and 2) patient education to increase screening, and 3) patient-generated screening questionnaires to prompt discussion of cancer risk and screening recommendations between patients and physicians. Two urban and 2 rural clinics were targeted during a 12-month period with interval intervention assessments. Baseline review of records (n = 200) from patients ≥40 were utilized to assess the rate of breast, prostate, and colorectal screenings among clinics. For the patient education intervention, patients (n = 120) were interviewed via a 34-item assessment. Physician awareness of cancer risk factors and screening recommendations significantly increased. Statistically significant increases were seen for prostate (P = .028), breast (P = .036), and colorectal (P < .001) cancer screening across all 4 clinics. Patients' increased likelihood of cancer screenings was associated with knowledge about consumption of animal fat (P < .001), dietary fiber (P < .013), and mammograms (P < .001). Utilizing the physician as the central change agent, the ASPAN provider network successfully enhanced cancer screening awareness of minority physicians and their patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2052-2060
Number of pages9
Issue number8 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Oct 15 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • African American
  • Cancer
  • Community health networks
  • Education
  • Physician
  • Primary care
  • Rural health
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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