Background on Group Education
What is group education for colorectal cancer?
- Through group education strategies, trained instructors provide information and resources as part of group classes or meetings to increase knowledge and support related to colorectal cancer prevention and screening. Information may be general or specific to an individual or group. For more information about healthy lifestyle-related strategies, see Nutrition, Physical Activity and Tobacco.
- Group education strategies may include presentations as well as individual or group activities that occur in community centers, clinics, physicians’ offices, homes, churches, worksites, or other meeting spaces. Using a detailed curriculum, these strategies can:
- increase knowledge about colorectal cancer and screening;
- provide a link between healthy behaviors and colorectal cancer;
- promote specific behavior changes for colorectal cancer prevention;
- and improve social support or group norms related to colorectal cancer screening.
How can I use group education to increase colorectal cancer-related behaviors?
- Many individuals feel comfortable being part of a group. Many employees work in teams, departments, or organizations. Adults often spend time with their friends. Residents may have block parties with their neighbors. A lot of individuals live with their families or friends. These social groups can help individuals learn by observing others or getting feedback from others about colorectal cancer prevention and treatment.
- Group education works best when both individual and group strategies are used. Individual strategies can improve knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs. Group strategies can change social norms and peer pressure or help with handling conflict, gaining support or increasing communication. For example, it may be more helpful to provide information about common concerns about colorectal cancer and have the group talk about how those concerns influence their decisions.
- Similar to individual education and campaigns and promotions, group education can be designed to meet the needs of general audiences or specific groups. For example, group education colorectal cancer messages can address all older adults or older adults from cultures with low screening rates.
- Group education can be part of existing programs or services, such as health education classes in clinics or primary care practices. Or, new group education classes or meetings can be set up to focus only on colorectal cancer prevention and screening.
What are the different strategies to improve colorectal cancer-related behaviors?
- Group education may be a single session or include multiple sessions, and may provide information and/or skills to increase colorectal cancer screening.
- Group education may use a facilitator or lecturer, video tapes and/or demonstrations.
Who do I work with to develop group education strategies?
- To get help with your group education strategies, you may want to work with some of the following individuals or groups:
- health departments, including health educators or providers
- health care facilities, including providers in clinics, hospitals or other health care organizations
- community coalitions
- civic organizations or community organizations such as American Cancer Society and senior centers
- worksites, including wellness trainers and managers
- senior independent living facilities
- faith-based organizations
- neighborhood organizations and community members
- To promote your group education classes or meetings, it is helpful to work with some of the following individuals or groups:
- communications or advertising agencies
- celebrities or professional athletes
- advocacy organizations
- elected officials, policy-makers, decision-makers or community leaders
- government agencies
- researchers and evaluators
primary care professionals