Grants - V Scholar Grants - Illinois - 2021

Marcia Tan, PhD

FUNDED BY THE STUART SCOTT MEMORIAL CANCER RESEARCH FUND

Tobacco use, specifically cigarette smoking, is a primary reason that adults develop and die from lung cancer. Adults with low income smoke cigarettes at higher rates than the general population, but they are less likely to go to the doctor and receive help with quitting. It is important to design programs that reach this population outside of a hospital or clinic setting. 

Community health workers (CHWs) are frontline public health workers who work with these communities to help improve their health and connect them to medical services. CHWs are often the first, and sometimes the only, healthcare provider for these adults. Training CHWs on conducting brief interventions for tobacco cessation, or quitting smoking, is important. However, current trainings for tobacco cessation are not always accessible to CHWs because of cost and time-constraints, and because the trainings are not relevant to CHWs’ patients’ experiences. This study will address these issues by adapting a tobacco cessation training specifically for CHWs. We will use information that CHWs have provided about their practices caring for their patients to make the training relevant to their patients’ experiences. We will then give the training to CHWs and test whether the training increased CHWs’ knowledge about tobacco cessation, and whether the training is appropriate for CHWs and their patients. Having more CHWs trained in tobacco cessation will increase the number of adults who receive help to quit smoking, which will help to reduce tobacco use and, ultimately cancer, among adults with low income.