Colon cancer knowledge and attitudes in an immigrant Haitian community

J Immigr Minor Health. 2009 Aug;11(4):319-25. doi: 10.1007/s10903-008-9126-6. Epub 2008 Mar 6.


Objective: To qualitatively evaluate the views of Haitian immigrants on cancer and the influence of cultural and socio-ecological factors on cancer screening behavior.

Methods: Six focus groups, consisting of 4-10 individuals each, were conducted among Haitian adults at average risk for colorectal cancer. The interviews were conducted in Haitian Creole and featured questions that addressed beliefs and attitudes about general health, access to health care, colon cancer, and screening practices.

Results: The focus groups provided insight into the health service utilization patterns in the Haitian community, as well as the factors driving them including language and the pattern of accessing healthcare only for emergencies.

Conclusions: Many misconceptions regarding cancer and its development were evident in the discussions. However participants were willing to follow the recommendations of a physician. This highlighted the importance in this community of disseminating information at every opportunity about preventative care, including colorectal cancer screening.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Colonic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Haiti / ethnology
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Middle Aged
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States / epidemiology