Culturally-Relevant Online Education Improves Health Workers’ Capacity and Intent to Address Cancer

Katie Cueva, Melany Cueva, Laura Revels, Mark Dignan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


To address a desire for timely, medically-accurate cancer education in rural Alaska, ten culturally-relevant online learning modules were developed, implemented, and evaluated with, and for, Alaska’s Community Health Aides/Practitioners (CHA/Ps). The project was guided by the framework of Community-Based Participatory Action Research, honored Indigenous Ways of Knowing, and was informed by Empowerment Theory. Each learner was invited to complete an end-of-module evaluation survey. The survey asked about changes in intent to share cancer information with patients as a result of the module. In 1 year, August 1, 2016–July 31, 2017, 459 surveys were completed by 79 CHA/Ps. CHA/Ps reported that, because of the modules, they felt more knowledgeable about cancer, and more comfortable, confident, and prepared to talk about cancer with their patients, families, and communities. All learners shared that because of the modules, they intended to talk with their patients more often about cancer screenings, tobacco cessation, physical activity, or nutrition. These findings suggest that the application of this collaboratively developed, culturally-relevant, health promotion intervention has supported increased CHA/P capacity and intent to interact with patients about cancer. In the words of a learner: “Doing all these courses makes me a ton times more comfortable in talking about cancer with anyone. I didn’t know too much about it at first but now I know a whole lot. Thank you”.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)660-666
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding This work is part of “Distance Education to Engage Alaskan Community Health Aides in Cancer Control,” supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), award R25CA186882. The content of this manuscript is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the views of the NIH.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Alaska Native
  • Community based participatory action research
  • Community health workers
  • Culture
  • Health promotion
  • Online learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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