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Fourth and a Mile: Using Theater in Comparison to Workshop/Lecture as an Approach to Educating African American Men About Prostate Cancer


Corresponding author: Amura Cameron. Email:


The American Cancer Society's Cancer Facts & Figures for African Americans 2011–2012 (Atlanta) reports that African American men have the highest incidence of prostate cancer (ACS, 2011) and that African Americans have the highest death rate of any racial or ethnic group in the United States for nearly all cancers. The fact that 40 percent of African American males are being diagnosed with prostate cancer, and 16 percent of African males are estimated to die from the condition, demands research and action. This study examines the effectiveness of theater in comparison to standard workshop/lecture in educating African American males about prostate cancer. Employing a retrospective/pre–post-test design, the study recruited 127 men to attend theater and standard workshop/lectures. Researchers assessed the effectiveness of theater in increasing participants' knowledge and awareness about prostate cancer in comparison to standard workshop/lecture. Results of the study indicate statistically significant increases in knowledge for playgoers before and after the play. Participants also reported statistically significant increases in the likelihood of engaging in healthy pro-social prostate-related behaviors. In addition, results of the study indicate that the increase in knowledge for participants who attended the standard workshop/lecture was greater than the increase in knowledge for participants who attended the play. Thus standard workshop/lecture proved to be more effective in educating African American men about prostate cancer. The findings suggest that further research will be needed to identify more innovative educational tools to increase knowledge and alter health-related behaviors.