When a Common Language Is Not Enough: Transcreating Cancer 101 for Communities in Puerto Rico

Y. M. Rivera, H. Vélez, J. Canales, J. C. Jiménez, L. Moreno, J. Torres, S. T. Vadaparampil, T. Muñoz-Antonia, G. P. Quinn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In Puerto Rico (PR), cancer is the leading cause of death. Previous research has identified the need for cancer education in PR. Using culturally adapted cancer curricula to train local health educators may effectively increase cancer education and reduce health disparities. This article describes the three-phase process used to transcreate the Cancer 101 curriculum to train Master of Public Health (MPH) students to educate PR communities. First, an expert panel collaboratively reviewed the curriculum for content, legibility, utility, and colloquialisms. Recommendations included incorporating local references and resources, replacing words and examples with culturally relevant topics, and updating objectives and evaluation items. Subsequent focus groups with 10 MPH students assessed the adaptation’s strengths, weaknesses, and utility for future trainees. Participants were satisfied with the curriculum’s overall adaptation, ease of use, and listed resources; further improvements were suggested for all modules. Final expert panel revisions highlighted minor feedback, with the final curriculum containing nine transcreated modules. The transcreation process identified the need for changes to content and cultural translation. Changes were culturally and literacy-level appropriate, represented PR’s social context, and were tailored for future trainees to successfully deliver cancer education. Findings highlight the importance of adapting Spanish educational materials across Hispanic sub-groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)776-783
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


  • Cancer education
  • Cultural adaptation
  • Curriculum
  • Hispanic/Latino
  • Transcreation


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