Using Culturally Focused Storytelling to Empower Appalachian Kentucky Youth to Understand and Address Cancer Disparities in Their Communities

Lauren K. Collett, Lauren Hudson, Chris Prichard, Nathan L. Vanderford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Kentucky has the highest cancer incidence and mortality rates in the nation with the Appalachian region of the state being most affected. These rates are driven by health behaviors and inequities in social determinants of health. Herein, Appalachian Kentucky students with the University of Kentucky’s Appalachian Career Training in Oncology (ACTION) program were engaged in a storytelling exercise by writing culturally framed essays. Students discussed their personal experiences with cancer and their thoughts on the causes of and potential solutions to Appalachian Kentucky’s cancer disparities. Content analysis was used to identify common themes, subthemes, and subtopics in the essays regarding cancer types, causes of cancer in Appalachia, and solutions to the high cancer rates. Common cancer types experienced by the students included breast, lung, and prostate. The most frequently identified themes that drive cancer rates in Appalachian Kentucky were identified as geography, environmental factors, tobacco use, education, poverty, prevention, and mistrust. Common proposed solutions to decrease cancer rates were to increase education and awareness, screening, and tobacco cessation. Overall, through storytelling, youth gained a better understanding of cancer in their communities and envisioned culturally tailored, community-based intervention strategies that can aid in reducing the cancer burden in Appalachian Kentucky.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513-521
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Volume38
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s) under exclusive licence to American Association for Cancer Education.

Keywords

  • Appalachia
  • Cancer disparities
  • Cancer education
  • Community outreach
  • Narrative research
  • Storytelling
  • Youth engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Using Culturally Focused Storytelling to Empower Appalachian Kentucky Youth to Understand and Address Cancer Disparities in Their Communities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this