Community strategies to address cancer disparities in Appalachian Kentucky

Nancy E. Schoenberg, Britteny M. Howell, Nell Fields

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Central Appalachian residents suffer disproportionate health disparities, including an all-cancer mortality rate 17% higher than the general population. During 10 focus groups and 19 key informant interviews, 91 Appalachian residents identified cancer screening challenges and strategies. Challenges included (1) inadequate awareness of screening need, (2) insufficient access to screening, and (3) lack of privacy. Strategies included (1) witnessing/storytelling, (2) capitalizing on family history, (3) improving publicity about screening resources, (4) relying on lay health advisors, and (5) bundling preventive services. These insights shaped our community-based participatory research intervention and offered strategies to others working in Appalachia, rural locales, and other traditionally underserved communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-43
Number of pages13
JournalFamily and Community Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • cancer screening
  • community-based participatory research
  • qualitative research
  • rural health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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