Filipino American Women's Perceptions and Experiences With Breast Cancer Screening

Tsu-Yin Wu

Joanna Bancroft

ONF 2006, 33(4), E71-E78. DOI: 10.1188/06.ONF.E71-E78

Purpose/Objectives: To determine information about Filipino American women's perceptions of breast cancer, the most frequently diagnosed cancer and number-one killer of Asian American women, and their experiences with screening.

Design: A qualitative, exploratory approach with focus groups.

Setting: Suburban Filipino American communities in the midwestern United States.

Sample: 11 Filipino American women aged 45-80 years who shared their experiences with breast cancer screening.

Methods: Focus groups were conducted, and the meetings were recorded on audiotape, transcribed, and analyzed using constant comparison techniques.

Main Research Variables: Breast cancer screening, experiences, motivators, and barriers.

Findings: Avoidance was the main theme for Filipino American women in dealing with a cancer diagnosis in the Filipino American culture. Facilitators of Filipino American women's screening practices were support from family members, recommendations from familiar physicians, health insurance reinforcement, and personal attributes of physical symptoms, family history, past diagnosis, and health literacy. Barriers identified were different mind-sets and healthcare systems in the Philippines in regard to early detection, unpleasant experiences with mammography, cultural beliefs, and difficulties accessing services.

Conclusions: Results of the focus group discussions provide useful information about facilitators and barriers that affect Filipino American women's screening practices.

Implications for Nursing: The findings of the study can be used to develop tailored interventions for addressing culturally specific barriers and promoting screening practices in the Filipino American community.

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