CCSRI Knowledge to Action: Education program for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer

The recently-completed ACCESS project by the Indigenous & Global Health Research Group gave insight on Indigenous peoples’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors towards cancer screening services in communities in the Northwest Territories. The results support that Indigenous communities face many barriers to accessing and utilizing cancer screening services. These barriers include: limited knowledge of cancer screening services procedure, purpose, frequency, age of initial screening, as well as limited knowledge of the affected human anatomy. It was clear there was a need for a culturally appropriate program to build on the ACCESS project in order to support cancer screening services use among Indigenous peoples in Northern Canada. 

This project aimed to transform knowledge to action by developing and evaluating a culturally appropriate education program in order to improve cancer screening services uptake among Northern Canadian Indigenous peoples. With the help of a Community Advisory Board, the team developed printed materials and a series of eleven videos, and shared stories and thoughts from community members to increase the understanding around cancer screening services. This project worked to improve cancer screening services uptake among Indigenous peoples and demonstrates the importance of culturally appropriate interventions to knowledge users in government and health professionals. The program was supported by the Government of the Northwest Territories, the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

The 11-video series was officially released by the the Department of Health and Social Services, Government of Northwest Territories to be freely downloaded for communities, health centres, and anyone who can use the information. The official press release and links are available here.