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Title: Vietnamese Social Networks Study
Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute
Funding Period:  09/30/09-09/29/11

Prior research demonstrated that lay health worker (LHW) interventions using social networks to recruit participants could achieve the desired outcomes of increasing breast and cervical cancer screening rates among Vietnamese American women.  However, little is known about social networks, social support, social influence of male and female Vietnamese Americans and how LHWs use their social networks to recruit participants, provide support, and influence their participants to promote screening behaviors.  To fill this critical gap in knowledge, we propose a pilot study to describe the characteristics of social networks and their roles in LHW interventions and colorectal cancer (CRC) screening. The specific aims are: 1) to qualitatively identify and describe social networks, social support, and social influence of male and female Vietnamese American lay health workers (LHW) and their educational session (ES) participants and 2) to quantitatively measure the extent of social networks, social support, and social influence of LHWs and ES participants.  Elucidating the mechanisms through which LHW interventions are effective in behavior changes will enable researchers and practitioners in the fields of epidemiology, cancer control, and behavioral sciences to better design interventions and target aspects of social networks that are facilitators to screening behaviors.