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Reducing racial and ethnic disparities in cancer requires strategies that link medically underserved communities into the continuum of care. Community-based participatory research has the potential to generate such strategies, through processes of collaborative planning, experimentation and discovery. The Queens Library Health Link project is designed to test the efficacy of a comprehensive participatory research approach to reducing disparities by improving use of cancer prevention, screening and treatment interventions.
In this project, public library branches provide a base for neighborhood organizing, education, data gathering, planning and implementation of local health promotion experiments and dissemination of results. The project will work with 20 of the 63 branch libraries in Queens, each serving its own large, diverse segment of the Queens community. Although we will follow the same research protocol in each site, every community will undertake unique health promotion activities most suited to local priorities, cultures, preferences and opportunities.