Background. To assess participants’ reasons for seeking cancer screening information at community health fairs and what they do with the information they receive.
Design and methods. Mixed quantitative and qualitative approach was used. Community health fairs are organized in underserved New York City neighbourhoods. From June 14, 2016 to August 26, 2016, cancer prevention tables providing information about various cancer screenings were established at 12 local community health fairs in New York City. In-person and follow up telephone surveys assessing interest in the cancer prevention table, personal cancer screening adherence rates, information-sharing behaviours and demographic variables have been taken into account. Statistical analyses were performed using IBM SPSS 22.0: frequencies, descriptive, cross tabulations. All qualitative data was coded by theme so that it could be analysed through SPSS. For example, Were you interested in a specific cancer? may be coded as 2 for yes, breast cancer.
Results. One hundred and sixteen patrons participated in the initial survey. Of those, 88 (78%) agreed to give their contact information for the follow-up survey and 60 follow-up surveys were completed (68%). Of those who reported reading the material, 45% shared the information; 15% subsequently spoke to a provider about cancer screenings and 40% intended to speak to a provider.
Conclusions. Participants disseminated information without prompting; suggesting the reach of these fairs extends beyond the people who visit our table. Future studies should look at whether patrons would share information at higher rates when they are explicitly encouraged to share the information.