Barbershop program boosts colon cancer screening in black men

Black men who were paired with a community-based patient navigator were more likely to follow through on colonoscopies or other testing for colorectal cancer than those in a control group. Community health workers identified the men as eligible for colorectal cancer testing in visits to barbershops throughout New York City.
“Although previous studies have shown that patient navigation improves colorectal cancer screening among ethnic minorities in clinical settings, our study is the first of this scale to look at a community approach,” Helen Cole, DrPH, former project coordinator at NYU Langone and current postdoctoral fellow at Institut Hospital del Mar d’Investigacions Mediques in Barcelona, Spain, said in a press release. “These findings add to the growing body of evidence that healthcare systems should expand their work in trusted community spaces to reach those who might not be seen in a clinical setting.”

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