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Keywords

breast health, clinical nurse specialist, community education, mammogram, rural health, screening

 

Authors

  1. LANE, ADRIANNE EdD, RN
  2. MARTIN, MADELEINE EdD, RN
  3. UHLER, JUDITH MSN, RN
  4. WORKMAN, LINDA PhD, RN

Abstract

Four clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) were funded for a project to increase breast cancer (BC) screening practices and the knowledge of BC risk factors for women in 4 medically underserved rural counties. The goal was to implement a program to increase knowledge of breast health practices, increase access to mammography, establish linkages among CNSs and community organizations, and increase resources for breast health education and screening. Phase I: A training program (focusing on breast health, breast cancer, and screening) was presented to public health nurses from each of the 4 counties. Phase II: Project and public health nurses teamed to provide an education and screening program for rural area women. The program involved making mammograms available at no cost through a mobile mammography unit that was brought to each county. Mammograms and educational programs were provided to 141 women. The project team was clearly able to function as both clinical experts and clinical leaders. The spheres of influence for these 4 CNSs included patient/client (rural women), nursing personnel (county health department nurses), and organization/network (state health department and governmental bodies). This project, based on the Logic Model, can serve as a framework for delivering care in underserved, rural populations.

 

Breast cancer (BC) is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States and the most commonly diagnosed malignancy in women. The American Cancer Society predicts that in 2003, more than 40,000 women will die from BC and more than 211,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed.1 Rural women are particularly at risk of dying from BC, because they do not take advantage of screening procedures that are readily available to their urban counterparts.2 A community-based project focusing on breast health was undertaken in rural Southeastern Indiana. The purpose was to increase women's knowledge of breast health and to provide accessible mammography.