The role of culture in breast health practices among Chinese-Australian women

Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
Patient Education and Counseling (Impact Factor: 2.6). 01/2007; 64(1-3):268-76. DOI: 10.1016/j.pec.2006.03.003
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Exploring how cultural meanings of the breast impact on perceived images of breast cancer and breast health practices.
In-depth interviews were conducted with 20 Chinese-Australian women in their native language (Cantonese).
The findings revealed that the meanings of the breast are constructed within the women's social and cultural context where breasts are associated with sex; and talking about, being concerned with or expressing curiosity about breasts is considered inappropriate. These views have a significant impact on (1) the way the informants viewed breast cancer; (2) perceptions of breast health practices; and (3) the explanations of breast cancer and associated risk perception.
Understanding the nature of culturally-based barriers to utilization of breast cancer screening is the first step to discovering solutions for making screening tests more acceptable to women from other cultures.
This study provides insight about obstacles for breast health promotion practices and for developing culturally appropriate health education programs and counselling strategies.

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