A community-based randomized trial of a faith-placed intervention to reduce cervical cancer burden in Appalachia

Christina R. Studts, Yelena N. Tarasenko, Nancy E. Schoenberg, Brent J. Shelton, Jennifer Hatcher-Keller, Mark B. Dignan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Objective: Faith Moves Mountains assessed the effectiveness of a faith-placed lay health advisor (LHA) intervention to increase Papanicolaou (Pap) test use among middle-aged and older women in a region disproportionately affected by cervical cancer and low screening rates (regionally, only 68% screened in prior 3. years). Method: This community-based RCT was conducted in four Appalachian Kentucky counties (December 2005-June 2008). Women aged 40-64 and overdue for screening were recruited from churches and individually randomized to treatment (n= 176) or wait-list control (n= 169). The intervention provided LHA home visits and newsletters addressing barriers to screening. Self-reported Pap test receipt was the primary outcome. Results: Intention-to-treat analyses revealed that treatment group participants (17.6% screened) had over twice the odds of wait-list controls (11.2% screened) of reporting Pap test receipt post-intervention, OR = 2.56, 95% CI: 1.03-6.38, p= 0.04. Independent of group, recently screened participants (last Pap > 1 but < 5. years ago) had significantly higher odds of obtaining screening during the study than rarely or never screened participants (last Pap ≥ 5. years ago), OR = 2.50, 95% CI: 1.48-4.25, p= 0.001. Conclusions: The intervention was associated with increased cervical cancer screening. The faith-placed LHA addressing barriers comprises a novel approach to reducing cervical cancer disparities among Appalachian women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)408-414
Number of pages7
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Appalachia
  • Cervical cancer screening
  • Faith-placed
  • Randomized controlled trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'A community-based randomized trial of a faith-placed intervention to reduce cervical cancer burden in Appalachia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this