Cervical cancer screening among underscreened and unscreened brazilian women: Training community health workers to be agents of change

Nádia Kienen, Lorna Bittencourt, Sandra M. Pelloso, Marcia E.L. Consolaro, Philip E. Castle, Edward E. Partridge, Vânia R.S. Silva, Isabel C. Scarinci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Background: Despite the availability of cervical cancer screening programs in Brazil, some women do not participate in these programs owing to structural and/or interpersonal/ intrapersonal barriers, resulting in high cervical cancer incidence and mortality. Integrating community health workers (CHWs) into the delivery of cervical cancer screening interventions is potentially a feasible strategy to address these barriers. Objectives: This study aimed to implement and evaluate a CHW training to deliver a brief intervention to promote cervical cancer screening among underscreened and unscreened women in Brazil. Methods: The curriculum addressed cervical cancer and screening, behavioral intervention strategies, and protection of human subjects in research. Pretest and post-test questionnaires assessed changes in CHW objective and perceived knowledge as well as perceived skills and confidence (N = 15). Results: There was a significant increase in objective and perceived knowledge about cervical cancer, behavior change strategies, and protection of human subjects in research between pretest and post-test, but not in self-perception about skills and confidence to motivate women to engage in cervical cancer screening. Conclusions: Improvements in CHW knowledge about cervical cancer screening and behavior change represents a step forward toward successful interventions, but adaptations are needed to boost their self-confidence and perceived skills with regard to their ability to promote behavior change at the community level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-119
Number of pages9
JournalProgress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action
Issue numberSpecial Issue
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018



  • Behavior change
  • Capacity building
  • Cervical cancer
  • Community health workers
  • Women’s health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science

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