Cultural Values and Secondary Prevention of Breast Cancer in African American Women

Published in: Cancer Control, v. 15, No. 1, Jan. 2008, p. 63-71

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2008

by Ellen Burke Beckjord, Ann C. Klassen

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BACKGROUND: Improving mammography initiation and maintenance among African American women has been suggested as a strategy for reducing breast cancer mortality in this population. METHODS: The authors examined cultural values in relation to self-reported breast cancer screening among 572 low-income, urban, African American women. Cultural values examined included time orientation, family authority, employment aspirations, value of past vs modern life, and reliance on medical professionals. Also, implications for continued development of culturally tailored health interventions and opportunities for the consideration of cultural values in health communication are discussed. RESULTS: Bivariate analyses showed that more traditional values were associated with worse screening histories and lower intentions for future screening. In multivariate analyses, two interactions were observed between cultural values and age: for younger women, more traditional values were associated with lower odds of having ever received a mammogram, and for older women, more traditional values were associated with lower odds of intentions to receive a mammogram in the next 2 years. CONCLUSIONS: This study adds to the evidence that cultural constructs, such as values, are associated with secondary prevention of breast cancer and supports the consideration of cultural constructs as important in increasing mammography and reducing breast cancer disparities for African American women.

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