The use of promotores to educate Hispanic communities about different health topics has been proven successful, albeit with limitations in program sustainability. The goal of this study was to develop a sustainable train-the-trainer model to train graduate public health (PH) students to disseminate cancer education among communities in Puerto Rico (PR). Graduate students (n = 32) from Ponce Health Sciences University’s (PHSU) PH program participated in a 2-day Cáncer 101 training, where they learned how to deliver nine cancer modules to the community. Cancer knowledge was assessed before and after the training via 54 items measuring discussed concepts. Participants also assessed the training’s effectiveness by completing a training evaluation informed by social cognitive theory (SCT) constructs of self-efficacy, outcome expectations, facilitation, and observational learning. Participants were mainly female (78.1 %), 26.7 ± 3.9 years old, and enrolled in a Masters-level program (81.3 %). Participants reported an average 11.38-point increase in cancer knowledge after attending the training [t(31) = 14.88, p < .001]. Participants also evaluated the training favorably upon completion, reporting satisfactory comments in the open-ended responses and high scores on measured SCT constructs. The Cáncer 101 training program effectively prepared students to deliver cancer education to local communities. Training graduate PH students to educate communities about health issues is an innovative, and potentially sustainable, way to reach underserved populations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Cancer education
- Health disparities