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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Rutgers: Study Examines Cancer Education Among Incarcerated Male Smokers

Rutgers School of Public Health assistant professor, Dr. Pamela Valera, has published a pilot study exploring the impact of cancer prevention education for male smokers  who are incarcerated to increase cancer knowledge and promote cancer prevention activities in prison facilities. Incarcerated men in the United States have not been the focus of cancer prevention research. This is a significant oversight and missed opportunity since most male inmates are aging and experience health disparities during their incarceration.

“Cancer 101” was pilot tested for adoption with incarcerated men in three prison facilities located in the northeastern region of the United States, and based on their feedback modifications were implemented. The study consisted of pretest and posttest surveys used to assess knowledge of attitudes regarding the benefits of cancer prevention activities at baseline and immediately after completing the Cancer 101 program. A paired t-test procedure was  used to determine whether cancer knowledge improved after participating in the program.

A total of 161 men completed all of the modules, participated in pre/post assessments, and qualitatively described their behavioral intentions to participate in activities that could reduce cancer risk. This study showed improvements in cancer knowledge scores and behavioral intentions to participate in activities to reduce cancer.

“Cancer 101 provides opportunities for inmates to increase cancer knowledge, as well as promote action for cancer control during incarceration,” says Dr. Valera.