Community-based interventions use different strategies and activities to help change community members’ awareness, attitudes, beliefs and skills. These strategies and activities may reduce colorectal cancer rates by influencing the social, economic and environmental conditions related to colorectal cancers. The benefit is that the combination of different strategies and activities may have something for everyone. This includes individuals, families, organizations, neighborhoods or other groups with a shared identity. For example, this shared identity may be living in the same area, going to the same events or having similar beliefs. Community-based interventions can improve compliance with colorectal cancer screening recommendations by increasing awareness of the role of screening in protecting health or by monitoring activities to ensure a reduction in risky behaviors for developing colorectal cancer. For more information about settings for healthy lifestyle behaviors, see Nutrition, Physical Activity and Tobacco.
Community-based interventions work best when used with interventions in other settings:
- Worksite-based settings: communities can increase access to colorectal cancer information in the workplace
- Faith-based settings: leaders in the faith-based community can include colorectal cancer education as part of their mission related to the health and spirituality of members
- Health care facility-based settings: health care providers can participate in community education efforts to increase accuracy and credibility of colorectal cancer information
- Home-based settings: community leaders can identify neighborhood resources for colorectal cancer education and access to screenings for families and relay this information in homes; communities can promote and send fecal occult blood testing kits by mail
Things to consider for community-based interventions:
- Community-based strategies and activities can reach people who do not get information in other settings, such as school, work, faith or health organizations.
- Community-based interventions should work with the community to develop colorectal cancer screening interventions. Working with community members and organizations helps develop strategies and activities that work best and increases community acceptance of the interventions.
- Community centers for older adults can incorporate colorectal cancer education and testing opportunities into their event schedule to encourage healthy lifestyles.
- Multiple sites within the community, such as schools, businesses and places of worship can act as pick-up or drop-off sites for fecal occult blood testing kits.
- Community locations such as libraries, supermarkets and community centers can be suitable for colorectal cancer education and screening opportunities because they are easily accessible.
- The supermarket is especially suitable to influence dietary behaviors, a risk factor for colorectal cancer, because it is a place where food purchase choices are made.
- Community and leisure time settings for group education sessions can provide support, motivation, and reinforcement for colorectal cancer-related behavior change.
- Retirement villages can incorporate health activities into their social events to encourage healthy lifestyles and regular screening among the older residents.