The BarberShop Initiative® addresses the lack of readily available, understandable and accurate cancer-related information in areas with significant minority populations. Through the BarberShop Initiative®, The Prostate Net® has forged partnerships between barbers and medical centers to directly deliver crucial information about prostate cancer prevention, treatment and supportive care in a sensitive and culturally acceptable manner.
Historically, educational and outreach efforts to Black communities for health screening or clinical trials have not been particularly successful, due to limited community and individual participation. Within minority communities, the barber and his shop have an important position as a place for social interaction and where free and open discourse occurs. Tapping into the barber's leadership to inform and influence his/her clients and neighbors has been an effective way to reduce and/or eliminate cultural barriers encountered when health care messages come from the traditional health care establishment.
Starting in 2004, the program targeted selected medical centers serving certain minority communities, then recruited and trained local barbers from the affected service area to function as lay health educators and patient navigators who motivate their constituencies to get screened and treated for prostate cancer. The medical centers found that this program enabled them to achieve a higher level of community and patient service - and to save lives.
Building on our "Knowledge Net" program's technology, the BarberShop Initiative® placed computer terminals in selected barbershops. These terminals are used exclusively to provide current information about prostate cancer detection and treatment through the Prostate Net site. Data reflecting the number of Knowledge Net users and the type of information accessed is also gathered and used by the initiative to better understand the needs of the populations served.
Contact us to help customize a program for your market, consumers, patients and/or health service objectives.
Prostate Cancer Association of Australia Conference on the Coast
The Prostate Cancer Asociation of Australia teams with local "Bikkies" to spread the word about "Supporting Quality of Life for Men with Prostate Cancer."