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: 2.2). 01/2007; 64(1-3):268-76. DOI: 10.1016/j.pec.2006.03.003
Source: PubMed


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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    • "Some researchers indicated that the association of the breast with sex and extreme modesty influences a woman's conception of breast examination [26,27]. It was noted that the presence of female nursing practitioners could decrease embarrassment. "
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    ABSTRACT: Breast cancer is a major threat to Taiwanese women's health. Despite the controversy surrounding the effectiveness of breast self-examination (BSE) in reducing mortality, BSE is still advocated by some health departments. The aim of the study is to provide information about how women decide to practice BSE and their experiences through the training process. Sixty-six women aged 27-50 were recruited. A descriptive study was conducted using small group and individual in-depth interviews to collect data, and using thematic analysis and constant comparison techniques for data analysis. It was found that a sense of self-security became an important motivator for entering BSE training. The satisfaction in obtaining a sense of self-security emerged as the central theme. Furthermore, a ladder motivation model was developed to explain the participants' motivations for entering BSE training. The patterns of motivation include opportunity taking, clarifying confusion, maintaining health, and illness monitoring, which were connected with the risk perception for breast cancer. We recognize that the way women decide to attend BSE training is influenced by personal and social factors. Understanding the different risk assessments women rely on in making their health decisions is essential. This study will assist researchers and health professionals to gain a better understanding of alternative ways to deal with breast health, and not to be limited by the recommendations of the health authorities.
    BMC Women's Health 07/2010; 10:23. DOI:10.1186/1472-6874-10-23 · 1.50 Impact Factor
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    • "The lower participation rates were found related to provision of fewer services, difficulties in accessibility [3] [4], poorer socioeconomic situation [5], and lower level of health literacy [6]. Other studies reported unique and culture-specific barriers to screening in different ethnic groups, such as Chinese-Australian [7], African American [8], Korean [9] and Arab [10] women. The Arab population in Israel constitutes 19.6% of the general population. "
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    ABSTRACT: To develop and assess an instrument for studying culture-specific barriers to performing examinations for early detection of breast cancer. A three-step design: (a) content analysis of five focus groups (n=51); (b) constructing and initial testing of the Arab culture-specific barriers (ACSB) instrument in a pilot study (n=79); (c) testing for validity and reliability of the revised ACSB instrument (n=300, of these 200 Muslim and 100 Christian, mean age 48). Construct validity was examined using factor analysis. Performance of screenings (mammography and clinical and self breast examination) was used to test criterion validity by logistic regression and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve; convergent validity was tested by the barriers subscale of the health beliefs questionnaire. Internal consistency reliability was tested by Cronbach's alpha coefficients. Factor analysis revealed five subscales: social barriers, exposure barriers, environmental barriers, uneasiness with own body, and traditional beliefs concerning cancer. The factors accounted for 54.6% of cumulative variance. Twelve items not meeting item-scale criteria were removed, resulting in a 21-item instrument. Convergent validity was confirmed for all subscales except traditional beliefs. ACSB mean score explained between 0.79 (95% CI .72-.86) and 0.85 (95% CI .79-.94) of the area under the ROC curve of the screening procedures. Internal consistency of the subscales ranged from 0.76 to 0.90. The study showed initial satisfactory reliability of the ACSB. Validity was approved for social barriers, exposure barriers, environmental barriers and uneasiness with own body subscales, and only partially for traditional beliefs. Further examination of the instrument with different populations of Arab women is needed.
    Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) 06/2008; 47(8):1570-7. DOI:10.1080/02841860802078069 · 3.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The current study identified the differences in health-risk perceptions between a random sample of 701 Australian and 874 Korean adolescents in Grades 8 to 12 who were asked to participate in a survey designed to assess their perceptions of health risk. To measure the health risks, an English version of the Self-Other Risk Judgments Profile was translated into Korean, and then the English and Korean versions were separately given the two groups. Analysis identified significant mean differences between the two groups in ratings both of risks they had and ratings of risks for others. Korean adolescents perceived their likelihood of a variety of self-health risks as substantially lower than the Australian group. Also, they rated the chances of most health risks happening to them as significantly lower than those of others in the same age compared with Australian peers.
    Psychological Reports 01/2008; 101(3 Pt 1):816-22. DOI:10.2466/PR0.101.7.816-822 · 0.53 Impact Factor
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