Cultural views, language ability, and mammography use in Chinese American women

Health Educ Behav. 2009 Dec;36(6):1012-25. doi: 10.1177/1090198109331669. Epub 2009 Feb 20.


Mammography screening rates among Chinese American women have been reported to be low. This study examines whether and how culture views and language ability influence mammography adherence in this mostly immigrant population. Asymptomatic Chinese American women (n = 466) aged 50 and older, recruited from the Washington, D.C. area, completed a telephone interview. Regular mammography was defined as having two mammograms at age-appropriate recommended intervals. Cultural views were assessed by 30 items, and language ability measured women's ability in reading, writing, speaking, and listening to English. After controlling for risk perception, worry, physician recommendation, family encouragement, and access barriers, women holding a more Chinese/Eastern cultural view were significantly less likely to have had regular mammograms than those having a Western cultural view. English ability was positively associated with mammography adherence. The authors' results imply that culturally sensitive and language-appropriate educational interventions are likely to improve mammography adherence in this population.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asian Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • China / ethnology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Culture*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language*
  • Mammography / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Minority Health
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology*
  • Socioeconomic Factors