Modifying a Breast Cancer Risk Factor Survey for African American Women

Marvella E. Ford

Deanna D. Hill

Angela Blount

John Morrison

Maria Worsham

Suzanne L. Havstad

Christine Cole Johnson

ONF 2002, 29(5), 827-834. DOI: 10.1188/02.ONF.827-834

Purpose/Objectives: To evaluate a breast cancer risk factor survey for use with African American women.

Design: Two focus groups consisting of women randomly selected from the patient population of Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Ml.

Setting: A large, vertically integrated, private, nonprofit health system.

Sample: Focus Group I consisted of 11 African American women aged 18-50, with a mean age of 41 years. Focus Group II consisted of nine African American women aged 51 and older, with a mean age of 60.9 years.

Methods: A qualitative approach was used to gather and interpret the focus group data.

Main Research Variables: Perceptions of a breast cancer risk factor survey and perceptions of breast cancer risk factors.

Findings: The focus group participants suggested ways to improve the survey. Women in the younger age group appeared to lack awareness regarding breast cancer risk factors. Women in the older age group reported not knowing their family health histories.

Conclusions: Based on comments made by the focus group participants, the survey was modified substantially. Breast cancer risk factors were perceived differently by women in the two age groups.

Implications for Nursing: Results of a survey of a large, ethnically diverse sample of women could inform the development of culturally and age-appropriate nursing interventions designed to address breast cancer risk perceptions and enhance the likelihood of adherence to recommended mammography screening guidelines.

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