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Use of GIS to identify optimal settings for cancer prevention and control in African American communities.

Alcaraz, Kassandra I; Kreuter, Matthew W; Bryan, Rebecca P.
Prev Med; 49(1): 54-7, 2009 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | May 2009 | ID: mdl-19422844
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: Rarely have Geographic Information Systems (GIS) been used to inform community-based outreach and intervention planning. This study sought to identify community settings most likely to reach individuals from geographically localized areas. METHOD: An observational study conducted in an urban city in Missouri during 2003-2007 placed computerized breast cancer education kiosks in seven types of community settings: beauty salons, churches, health fairs, neighborhood health centers, Laundromats, public libraries and social service agencies. We used GIS to measure distance between kiosk users' (n=7297) home ZIP codes and the location where they used the kiosk. Mean distances were compared across settings. RESULTS: Mean distance between individuals' home ZIP codes and the location where they used the kiosk varied significantly (p<0.001) across settings. The distance was shortest among kiosk users in Laundromats (2.3 mi) and public libraries (2.8 mi) and greatest among kiosk users at health fairs (7.6 mi). CONCLUSION: Some community settings are more likely than others to reach highly localized populations. A better understanding of how and where to reach specific populations can complement the progress already being made in identifying populations at increased disease risk.