Documenting Cancer Information Seeking Behavior and Risk Perception in the Hualapai Indian Community to Inform a Community Health Program

Nicolette I. Teufel-Shone, Felina Cordova-Marks, Gloria Susanyatame, Louis Teufel-Shone, Sandra L. Irwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Cancer incidence among American Indians (AIs) is low, yet their 5-year relative survival rate is the second lowest of all US populations. Culturally relevant cancer prevention education is key to achieve health equity. This collaborative project of the Hualapai Tribe and University of Arizona modified the National Cancer Institute’s 2003 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) to yield a more culturally relevant cancer information survey to document the health seeking behaviors and perceptions of cancer risks and preventability of AI adults residing in the Hualapai Indian community. A team of health care providers, educators and cancer survivors (six native and three non-natives) completed the adaptation. Four trained native surveyors administered the survey using a random household survey design. The Hualapai HINTS was well accepted (<5 % refusal rate) and was completed by 205 adults (20.5 % of all adult residents). Respondents reported a preference for and a trust in verbal cancer information and communication with health care professionals (77.1 % preference; 57.4 % trust) and at workshops (75.2 % preference; 45.5 % trust). Respondents were aware of some health behaviors associated with a reduced cancer risk, e.g., avoid tobacco use and need for screening. Respondents were less well informed about the role of diet and exercise. These findings were used to inform local cancer prevention education efforts and to develop a series of monthly workshops that engaged local health professionals to reinforce and discuss pathways of the primary role of lifestyle related factors, specifically diet and exercise in reducing cancer risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)891-898
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 4 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • American Indian
  • Cancer
  • Health survey
  • Risk perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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