Breast Cancer Screening Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Among Korean American Women

Roma D. Williams

cancer screening, breast cancer, Korean American women
ONF 2000, 27(10), 1585-1591. DOI:
Purpose/Objectives: To describe the knowledge and beliefs about breast cancer and breast cancer screen­ng and practices of clinical breast examination (CBE) and mammography of Korean American women. 
Design: Cross-sectional survey. 
Setting: Two Korean churches in a mid-sized Southeastern U.S. city. 
Sample: A convenience sample of 107 Korean women ages 40 and older. 
Methods: Data were collected using Champion's Health Belief Model instrument (susceptibility, seriousness, benefits, and barriers) and the Breast Cancer Knowledge test through mailed questionnaires. 
Main Research Variables: Knowledge and beliefs about breast cancer screening and practices of CBE and mammography. 
Findings: The percentages of Korean American women who ever had a CBE and mammography were 67 and 58, respectively. Among the Health Belief Model variables, women who never had a CBE had signifi­cantly lower knowledge scores and higher perceived barriers to CBE than those who had. Women who never had a mammogram reported significantly higher per­ceived barriers to mammography. Logistic regression analyses demonstrated that husband's nationality, regular checkups, and encouragement from family members and physicians were significant predictors of CBE and mammography use.
Conclusions: The frequency of breast cancer screening practices among Korean American women is be­low national objectives.
Implications for Nursing Practice: As healthcare pro­fessionals in a culturally diverse nation, nurses need to increase their awareness of cultural variations and pro­vide culturally and linguistically appropriate breast health education. Additional studies with women from a variety of settings are needed to validate present study findings. 


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