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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3628

Title: Linking Cancer Education Sessions with Colorectal Cancer Burden: The Use of GIS Mapping in Chronic Disease Prevention Research
Authors: Rozjabek, Heather M.
Keywords: Public Health;Cancer Education;Colorectal Cancer;Geographic Information Systems;Chronic Diseases;Prevention;Pennsylvania Cancer Education Network;GIS;PCEN
Issue Date: 28-Sep-2011
Abstract: Background: Colorectal, prostate, ovarian and skin cancers account for 30 percent of all invasive cancers diagnosed in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Department of Health Pennsylvania Cancer Education Network (PCEN) is a public-academic partnership that translates cancer prevention into statewide practice through community-based cancer education. PCEN education sessions have made significant impact on subjects’ knowledge, attitudes and intention to screen. However, it has not been assessed whether the locations of sessions correlate with geographic regions that have significant rates of cancer. Geographic information system (GIS) mapping allows for spatial representation of quantitative data and makes data readily understandable to stakeholders and policy makers. Objectives: To utilize a colorectal cancer burden index for each county in Pennsylvania to assess the regions of Pennsylvania that have a significant colorectal cancer burden, to evaluate whether PCEN has reached communities in need of colorectal cancer education and to identify high risk areas that do not have access to education sessions. Methods: This research utilized a calculated colorectal cancer burden index for each county in Pennsylvania. A geospatial analysis was carried out using GIS software to visually present the burden index data with the location of cancer education sessions. Results: The current colorectal cancer burden index revealed the Southeastern health district had the highest average colorectal cancer burden index value of 34.163 and the North Central district had the lowest with 3.209. Comparing the current colorectal cancer burden index with the previous burden index showed there were some differences in measuring burden. A total of 5000 cancer education sessions, of which 1374 sessions were for colorectal cancer, were held by PCEN during the study period. Most sessions were concentrated around urban centers, but PCEN has reached many suburban and rural communities. Conclusions: Some counties with high colorectal cancer burden have had few or no education sessions during the study period. PCEN also has education sessions for ovarian, prostate, and skin cancers and this methodology can be used to identify high-risk areas of Pennsylvania for each of those cancer sites. This method of evaluation including calculation of a burden index and geospatial analysis can be used for other chronic disease prevention programs.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3628
Appears in Collections:Health Sciences Theses and Dissertations

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