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Breast cancer screening and African American women: fear, fatalism, and silence.
Oncol Nurs Forum. 1999 Apr; 26(3):561-71.ON

Abstract

PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES

To explore the beliefs, attitudes, and practices related to breast cancer and breast cancer screening among low- and middle-income African American women.

DESIGN

Qualitative study using focus group methodology.

SAMPLE/SETTING

26 African American women, age 40-65, selected from three employment groups, recruited from a community-based center and a local teacher's union in a moderate-sized urban area.

METHODS

Three 90-minute focus group discussions exploring breast cancer beliefs, attitudes, and practices were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using thematic context analysis techniques.

FINDINGS

When breast cancer was discussed, fear was the predominant feeling expressed in all groups. This fear was a primary reason not to engage in breast cancer screening. Unemployed women and service workers emphasized the role of violence in causing breast cancer, whereas teachers discussed injury and sex as causing breast cancer. All participants stressed that breast cancer is seldom discussed within the African American community. Teachers added that this secrecy within the African American community leads to breast cancer being viewed as a white woman's disease.

CONCLUSIONS

Despite initiatives promoting breast cancer awareness. African American women still hold misconceptions regarding the etiology of breast cancer and fatalistic perspectives regarding breast cancer outcomes, perhaps because breast cancer is discussed infrequently. Because pain, fear, and fatalism were discussed in all groups, future research should address the influence of these factors to increase screening behaviors.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE

Because unemployed women, service workers, and teachers differed in their beliefs about breast cancer and breast cancer screening, nurses must be mindful of the need to tailor Interventions to address the needs of both low- and middle-income African American women.

Authors+Show Affiliations

National Institute of Nursing Research, Bethesda, MD, USA.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

10214597

Citation

Phillips, J M., et al. "Breast Cancer Screening and African American Women: Fear, Fatalism, and Silence." Oncology Nursing Forum, vol. 26, no. 3, 1999, pp. 561-71.
Phillips JM, Cohen MZ, Moses G. Breast cancer screening and African American women: fear, fatalism, and silence. Oncol Nurs Forum. 1999;26(3):561-71.
Phillips, J. M., Cohen, M. Z., & Moses, G. (1999). Breast cancer screening and African American women: fear, fatalism, and silence. Oncology Nursing Forum, 26(3), 561-71.
Phillips JM, Cohen MZ, Moses G. Breast Cancer Screening and African American Women: Fear, Fatalism, and Silence. Oncol Nurs Forum. 1999;26(3):561-71. PubMed PMID: 10214597.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Breast cancer screening and African American women: fear, fatalism, and silence. AU - Phillips,J M, AU - Cohen,M Z, AU - Moses,G, PY - 1999/4/24/pubmed PY - 1999/4/24/medline PY - 1999/4/24/entrez SP - 561 EP - 71 JF - Oncology nursing forum JO - Oncol Nurs Forum VL - 26 IS - 3 N2 - PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES: To explore the beliefs, attitudes, and practices related to breast cancer and breast cancer screening among low- and middle-income African American women. DESIGN: Qualitative study using focus group methodology. SAMPLE/SETTING: 26 African American women, age 40-65, selected from three employment groups, recruited from a community-based center and a local teacher's union in a moderate-sized urban area. METHODS: Three 90-minute focus group discussions exploring breast cancer beliefs, attitudes, and practices were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using thematic context analysis techniques. FINDINGS: When breast cancer was discussed, fear was the predominant feeling expressed in all groups. This fear was a primary reason not to engage in breast cancer screening. Unemployed women and service workers emphasized the role of violence in causing breast cancer, whereas teachers discussed injury and sex as causing breast cancer. All participants stressed that breast cancer is seldom discussed within the African American community. Teachers added that this secrecy within the African American community leads to breast cancer being viewed as a white woman's disease. CONCLUSIONS: Despite initiatives promoting breast cancer awareness. African American women still hold misconceptions regarding the etiology of breast cancer and fatalistic perspectives regarding breast cancer outcomes, perhaps because breast cancer is discussed infrequently. Because pain, fear, and fatalism were discussed in all groups, future research should address the influence of these factors to increase screening behaviors. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE: Because unemployed women, service workers, and teachers differed in their beliefs about breast cancer and breast cancer screening, nurses must be mindful of the need to tailor Interventions to address the needs of both low- and middle-income African American women. SN - 0190-535X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/10214597/Breast_cancer_screening_and_African_American_women:_fear_fatalism_and_silence_ L2 - http://www.diseaseinfosearch.org/result/960 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -