Development and Early Outcomes of the Find Cancer Early Community Education Campaign in Regional Western Australia. (#18)
Introduction: The Improving Rural Cancer Outcomes (IRCO) Project commenced in 2009 and is investigating why regional cancer patients experience poorer outcomes than metropolitan patients with the aim of implementing practical solutions to address this. This presentation outlines the development and early evaluation results of the two-year Find Cancer Early campaign to increase cancer symptom awareness and reduce delays in help-seeking behaviour in people from regional Western Australia. The campaign is one of the ‘best prospects’ interventions in the IRCO randomised controlled trial in collaboration with UWA, Cancer Council WA, and DOH WA.
Methods: In 2009 and 2010, we held in-depth interviews with people from regional WA with a recent diagnosis of breast, colorectal, lung or prostate cancer to measure and explore their patient journey. This information was then used to inform the development of a community campaign; and a series of regional community forums and concept/message testing sessions were used to develop and refine campaign messages. The campaign was launched in three regions of WA in November 2011 using a community development approach, supported by regional media engagement. Process, Impact and Outcome evaluation techniques were applied.
Results: The process helped to translate interview information into a simple set of campaign materials which appealed to our target audience. Key themes addressed are the importance of earlier detection of cancer through symptom recognition and de-mystifying some of the excuses and barriers around seeking help when these symptoms are present. The range of campaign materials created will be presented along with outcome data from our Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews.
Conclusion: The Find Cancer Early campaign evolved considerably as a result of the formative research process, and translated into the launch of an evidence-based early cancer detection campaign in regional WA with positive results and transferability to other regions.