objectives: Printed cancer education materials (PCEMs) (pamphlets and fact sheets) are used to educate individuals about cancer prevention and awareness. Culture is an important variable affecting the retention and use of information in printed materials to African Americans that has not been fully addressed in the literature.
materials and methods: The major goal of the Cancer Prevention Materials for African Americans project, funded by the Texas Cancer Council, was to assess cultural sensitivity of currently disseminated PCEMs targeting African Americans. The project consisted of conducting focus groups, forming an advisory committee, and developing and using the Printed Cancer Education Materials for African Americans Cultural Sensitivity Assessment Tool.
results: Cultural sensitivity of PCEMs was assessed in terms of format, visual message, and written message. The majority of the PCEMs (56.2%) were culturally insensitive, with the visual message being the weakest component of all the materials.
conclusion: Future PCEMs targeting African Americans should include culturally sensitive visual messages to be more effective in delivering the cancer prevention message. The use of the assessment tool can assist cancer control specialists in developing culturally sensitive materials.