A tailored intervention to promote breast cancer screening among South Asian immigrant women

Soc Sci Med. 2005 Feb;60(3):575-86. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2004.05.018.


This study developed and evaluated a socioculturally tailored intervention to improve knowledge, beliefs and clinical breast examination (CBE) among South Asian (SA) immigrant women. The intervention comprised a series of socioculturally tailored breast-health articles published in Urdu and Hindi community newspapers. A pre- and post-intervention design evaluated the impact of the mailed articles among 74 participants. The mean age of participants was 37 years (SD 9.7) and they had lived 6 years (SD 6.6) in Canada. After the intervention, there was a significant increase in self-reporting 'ever had' routine physical checkup (46.4-70.8%; p < 0.01) and CBE (33.3-59.7%; p < 0.001). Also, the total summed scores of accurate answers to 12 knowledge items increased (3.3-7.0; p < 0.001). For constructs of health belief model, participants rated their level of agreement for a number of items on a scale of 1-4 (disagree to agree). After the intervention the following decreased: misperception of low susceptibility to breast cancer among SA immigrant women (3.0-2.4; p < 0.001); misperception of short survival after diagnosis (2.7-1.8; p < 0.001); and perceived barriers to CBE (2.5-2.1; p < 0.001). Self-efficacy to have CBE increased (3.1-3.6; p < 0.001). The change scores of five predictor variables were entered in a direct logistic regression to predict the uptake of CBE among participants who never had it prior to the intervention. The model, as a set, was statistically reliable [chi2(5, n = 48) = 14.2 , p < 0.01] and explained 35% of variance in the outcome; perceived barriers remained an independently significant predictor. The results support the effectiveness of written socioculturally tailored language-specific health education materials in promoting breast cancer screening within the targeted population. Future research should test the intervention in other vulnerable populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asia, Southeastern / ethnology
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / ethnology
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Culture
  • Female
  • Health Education
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods*