Asian Americans experience disproportionate incidence and mortality rates of certain cancers, compared to other racial/ethnic groups. Primary care physicians are a critical source for cancer screening recommendations and play a significant role in increasing cancer screening of their patients. This study assessed primary care physicians’ perceptions of cancer risk in Asians and screening recommendation practices. Primary care physicians practicing in New Jersey and New York City (n=100) completed a 30-question survey on medical practice characteristics, Asian patient communication, cancer screening guidelines, and Asian cancer risk. Liver cancer and stomach cancer were perceived as higher cancer risks among Asian Americans than among the general population, and breast and prostate cancer were perceived as lower risks. Physicians are integral public health liaisons who can be both influential and resourceful toward educating Asian Americans about specific cancer awareness and screening information.
Asian Americans; cancer; primary care physician; health disparities
Hepatitis B (HBV) screening; Asian Americans; sociocultural factors
Breast cancer incidence and the number of breast cancer survivors have been rapidly increasing among Chinese and Korean women in the United States. However, few data are available regarding quality of life in Asian American breast cancer survivors. This qualitative study aims to describe Asian American women’s perceptions of quality of life and their breast cancer experiences. In-depth interviews with four Chinese and five Korean American breast cancer survivors and three oncologists were conducted in Chinese, Korean, or English. Interviews were recorded and transcripts were translated into English. Qualitative analyses were performed by two independent coders and then discussed and agreed upon by the research team. The respondents reported that the breast cancer experience had affected various domains of quality of life, but women reported having limited resources with which to cope effectively. Depression, anxiety, and stress were commonly reported, but women rarely discussed these issues with family and friends or sought professional help. As immigrants, women’s loneliness and a lack of social support and culturally relevant resources seemed to be major barriers to maintaining good quality of life. Women also expressed interest in learning more about alternative therapies and relaxation skills. These findings can be used to help inform the development of a culturally appropriate intervention for Asian American breast cancer survivors. Future programs may provide information in women’s native languages to teach skills to cope with stress and anxiety, increase women’s self-efficacy within the context of their cultural background, and enhance social support among women from the same ethnic group.
breast cancer; quality of life; survivorship; Asian American; Chinese American; Korean American
The purpose of this community-based study was to develop a structural equation model for factors contributing to breast cancer screening among Chinese American women.
A cross-sectional design included a sample of 440 Chinese American women aged 40 years and older. The initial step involved use of confirmatory factor analysis, which included the following variables: access/satisfaction with health care, enabling, predisposing, and cultural and health belief factors. Structural equation model analyses were conducted to evaluate factors related to breast cancer screening in Chinese American women.
Initial univariate analyses indicated that women without health insurance were significantly more likely to report being never-screened compared to women with health insurance. Structural equation modeling techniques were used to evaluate the utility of the Sociocultural Health Behavior model in understanding breast cancer screening among Chinese American women. Results indicated that enabling and predisposing factors were significantly and positively related to breast cancer screening. Cultural factors were significantly associated with enabling factors and satisfaction with healthcare. Overall, the proposed model explained 34% of the variance in breast cancer screening among Chinese American women.
The model highlights the significance of enabling and predisposing factors in understanding breast cancer screening behaviors among Chinese American women. In addition, cultural factors were associated with enabling factors, reinforcing the importance of providing translation assistance to Chinese women with poor English fluency and increasing awareness of the critical role of breast cancer screening. Partnering with community organizations may help to facilitate and enhance the screening rates.
Mammograms; Breast cancer screening; Chinese women
This study was conducted to compare gender differences in the psychometric properties of the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND).
The sample comprised 334 Korean immigrants (97 women and 237 men) who reported daily smoking for the past six months. Item-by-item responses and exploratory factor analyses (EFA) were compared by gender. Promax rotation was selected based on findings from previous studies suggesting correlated factors.
Compared with men, women smoked fewer cigarettes per day, were more likely to smoke when ill in bed, and were less likely to smoke frequently in the morning. The entire sample and men within the sample had the same factor loading pattern, where three items (time to first cigarette, the cigarette most hate to give up, and smoke more frequently in the morning) were loaded on Factor 1 (morning smoking) and the remaining three items (difficult to refrain from smoking in public places, number of cigarettes smoked per day, and smoking even when ill in bed) on Factor 2 (daytime smoking). For women, however, neither the 1- nor 2-factor model fit the data well.
For Korean American male smokers, the psychometric properties of the FTND were similar to those seen in other populations, but this was not the case with Korean American women. Clinicians may need to modify their interpretation of nicotine dependence severity if basing only on the FTND with Korean Women. The FTND assesses smoking patterns which has a cultural influence and other measures of nicotine dependence should be considered
smoking; psychometric testing; gender; Asian; culture
Tobacco use is a serious public health problem among low-income Chinese Americans with limited English proficiency. Chinese men are at high risk for smoking-related morbidity and mortality. We tested the feasibility of a culturally and linguistically sensitive smoking intervention program with combined counseling and pharmacological components for Chinese smokers in New York City; identified factors and techniques that enhance the administration and appropriateness of the intervention program; and examined the overall impact of this program on quit attempts, quit rates, and overall smoking reduction.
We were guided by the transtheoretical model and used an adapted motivational interviewing (MI) approach. The study involved a randomized sample with pretreatment assessment and multiple follow-up measures. Eligible participants (N = 122) were randomly assigned to intervention (4 individualized counselor-led MI sessions and nicotine replacement therapy [NRT]) or control groups (4 general health education sessions, self-help materials, and NRT).
Quit rate at 6 months in the intervention group was 67% versus 32% for the control group, indicating minimal relapse and a highly successful intervention program. Increase in self-efficacy and decease in pros of smoking from baseline to 6-month follow-up were positively associated with smoking cessation. The number of cigarette smoked at baseline was inversely related to smoking cessation. Results indicate that a combined intensive behavioral counseling and pharmacological intervention can reduce smoking substantially.
The results of this pilot will be used as a basis for a large-scale randomized trial of an intervention with combined culturally and linguistically sensitive MI and NRT components for Chinese and other Asian ethnic groups.
The purpose of this community-based study was to develop a structural equation model for factors contributing to cervical cancer screening among Chinese American women.
A cross-sectional design included a sample of 573 Chinese American women aged 18 years and older. The initial step involved use of confirmatory factor analysis, that included the following variables: access to and satisfaction with health care, and enabling and predisposing cultural and health beliefs. Structural equation model analyses were conducted on factors related to cervical cancer screening.
Age, marital status, employment, household income, and having health insurance, but not educational level, were significantly related to cervical screening status. Predisposing and enabling factors were positively associated with cervical cancer screening. The cultural factor was significantly related to the enabling factor or the satisfaction with health care factor.
This model highlights the significance of sociocultural factors in relation to cervical cancer screening. These factors were significant, with cultural, predisposing, enabling, and health belief factors and access to and satisfaction with health care reinforcing the need to assist Chinese American women with poor English fluency in translation and awareness of the importance of cervical cancer screening. Community organizations may play a role in assisting Chinese American women, which could enhance cervical cancer screening rates.
Papanicolaou test; cervical cancer screening; Chinese women
The study assessed the extent that Philadelphia’s smoking ordinance diffused to Chinatown businesses and identified attitudinal and other barriers to implementation. Guided by constructs from Diffusion of Innovations and Theory of Planned Behavior, a cross-sectional study was conducted. The majority of business owners and employees lacked in-depth knowledge of relevant details of the policy, suggesting that the extent of its diffusion was limited. Retail businesses were more likely to witness smoking post-enactment than restaurants and had more difficulty with implementation. A multi-faceted diffusion strategy through communication channels familiar to the Chinatown community is needed to improve implementation and compliance.
Interactions between breast cancer patients and their oncologists are important as effective patient-physician communication can facilitate the delivery of quality cancer care. However, little is known about patient-physician communication processes among Asian American breast cancer patients, who may have unique communication needs and challenges. Thus, we interviewed Asian American patients and several oncologists to explore patient-physician communication processes in breast cancer care.
We conducted in-depth interviews with nine Chinese- or Korean American breast cancer patients and three Asian American oncologists who routinely provided care for Asian American patients in the Washington DC metropolitan area in 2010. We conducted patient interviews in Chinese or Korean and then translated into English. We conducted physicians’ interviews in English. We performed qualitative analyses to identify themes.
For women with limited English proficiency, language was the greatest barrier to understanding information and making treatment-related decisions. Both patients and oncologists believed that interpretation provided by patients’ family members may not be accurate, and patients may neglect to ask questions because of their worry of burdening others. We observed cultural differences regarding expectations of the doctor’s role and views of cancer recovery. As expressed by the patients and observed by oncologists, Asian American women are less likely to be assertive and are mostly reliant on physicians to make treatment decisions. However, many patients expressed a desire to be actively involved in the decision-making process.
Findings provide preliminary insight into patient-physician communication and identify several aspects of patient-physician communication that need to be improved for Asian American breast cancer patients. Proper patient education with linguistically and culturally appropriate information and tools may help improve communication and decision-making processes for Asian American women with breast cancer.
Asian American; breast cancer; patient-physician communication; language barrier; cultural difference; treatment decision making
The purpose of this community-based participatory study was to identify factors associated with colorectal cancer (CRC) screening compliance and non-compliance among Cambodians, Vietnamese, Koreans and Chinese men and women 50 years and older living in the United States. A cross-sectional design was used in the study. The completed sample included 815 Asian Americans which included Cambodians (N=215), Vietnamese (N=195), Koreans (N=94) and Chinese (N=311). A 95-item questionnaire was developed and pilot tested for content validity and reliability. An in-person data collection approach was utilized and participants were given choice in responding in English or their native language. Of the 815 participants, 79.1% (N=645) reported never-screened, 7.9% (N=64), non-compliance, and 13.0% (N=106) compliance. Education was significantly associated with never-screened for CRC for Vietnamese and Chinese; employment status for Cambodians and Koreans; lack of health insurance for Cambodians, Korean and Chinese; English fluency and years lived in the U.S. for Vietnamese, Koreans, and Chinese. Less acculturated Asian Americans were more likely to be never screened, but differentially across ethnic subgroups. Barriers to screening included lack of knowledge, language, transportation, and time. Increased culturally-targeted public awareness and education programs are needed to improve CRC screening and compliance among high risk Asian American ethnic subgroups.
sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy; fecal occult blood test; Vietnamese; Korean; Chinese; Cambodian; correlates of colorectal cancer screening
Objective. Vietnamese American women are at the greatest risk for cervical cancer but have the lowest cervical cancer screening rates. This study was to determine whether demographic and acculturation, healthcare access, and knowledge and beliefs are associated with a prior history of cervical cancer screening among Vietnamese women. Methods. Vietnamese women (n = 1450) from 30 Vietnamese community-based organizations located in Pennsylvania and New Jersey participated in the study and completed baseline assessments. Logistic regression analyses were performed. Results. Overall levels of knowledge about cervical cancer screening and human papillomavirus (HPV) are low. Factors in knowledge, attitude, and beliefs domains were significantly associated with Pap test behavior. In multivariate analyses, physician recommendation for screening and having health insurance were positively associated with prior screening. Conclusion. Understanding the factors that are associated with cervical cancer screening will inform the development of culturally appropriate intervention strategies that would potentially lead to increasing cervical cancer screening rates among Vietnamese women.
To test the Sociocultural Health Behavior Model in relation to the health behavior of prostate cancer (PCa) screening among Chinese American men.
Confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation model analyses were conducted among Chinese American men.
The path analysis supported the components of the sociocultural model and indicated a positive and significant relationship between PCa screening and the enabling factors; between cultural factors and predisposing, enabling, and access/satisfaction with health care factors; and between enabling factors and access/satisfaction with health care.
The model highlights the significance that sociocultural factors play in relation to PCa screening.
digital rectal exam; prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test; prostate cancer screening; structural equation model
The purpose of this community-based study was to apply a Sociocultural Health Behavior Model to determine the association of factors proposed in the model with breast cancer screening behaviors among Asian American women.
A cross-sectional design included a sample of 682 Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese women aged 40 years and older. The frequency distribution analysis and Chi-square analysis were used for the initial screening of the following variables: sociodemographic, cultural, enabling, environmental, and social support. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted on factors for breast cancer screening using multinomial logistic regression analysis.
Correlates to positive breast cancer screening included demographics (ethnicity), cultural factors (living in the United States for 15 years or more, speaking English well), enabling factors (having a regular physician to visit, health insurance covering the screening), and family/social support factors (those who had a family/friend receiving a mammogram).
The results of this study suggest that breast cancer screening programs will be more effective if they include the cultural and health beliefs, enabling, and social support factors associated with breast cancer screening. The use of community organizations may play a role in helping to increase breast cancer screening rates among Asian American women.
breast cancer screening; Vietnamese; Korean; Chinese; breast cancer; Asian American
Significant disparities in cervical cancer incidence and mortality exist among ethnic minority women, and in particular, among Asian American women. These disparities have been attributed primarily to differences in screening rates across ethnic/racial groups. Asian American women have one of the lowest rates of screening compared to other ethnic/racial groups. Yet Asian Americans, who comprise one of the fastest growing populations in the United States, have received the least attention in cancer control research. Studies suggest that various factors, including lack of knowledge, psychosocial and cultural beliefs, and access barriers, are associated with cervical cancer screening behaviors among Asian American women. Indeed, the few interventions that have been developed for Asian American women demonstrate that targeting these factors can yield significant increases in screening rates. It is important to note, however, that the effectiveness of educational interventions is often attenuated if access barriers are not adequately addressed. Hence, interventions that include key essential components, such as the use of community individuals as lay health workers, culturally-tailored and linguistically-appropriate educational materials, and navigation assistance to overcome access barriers, are more likely to be successful in enhancing screening rates. As the benefits of community-based cervical cancer prevention programs become more apparent, it will be essential to identify effective approaches for disseminating such programs more broadly. In conclusion, community-based cervical cancer screening programs have demonstrated promise in addressing existing cervical cancer disparities by increasing awareness and knowledge and promoting recommended screening behaviors. These findings will be instrumental in guiding future community-based programs to reduce cervical cancer health disparities among Asian American women.
cervical cancer; screening; Asian Americans; disparities; cancer prevention; community-based; psychosocial beliefs; access barriers
Cervical cancer is the second most common female tumor worldwide and its incidence is disproportionately high (>80%) in the developing world. In the U.S., where Pap tests have reduced the annual incidence to approximately 11,000 cervical cancers, more than 60% of cases occur in medically-underserved populations as part of a complex of diseases linked to poverty, race/ethnicity, and/or health disparities. Because carcinogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) infections cause virtually all cervical cancer, two new approaches for cervical cancer prevention have emerged: 1) HPV vaccination to prevent infections in younger women (≤18 years old) and 2) carcinogenic HPV detection in older women (≥30 years old). Together, HPV vaccination and testing, if used in an age-appropriate manner, have the potential to transform cervical cancer prevention particularly among underserved populations. Yet significant barriers of access, acceptability, and adoption to any cervical cancer prevention strategy remain. Without understanding and addressing these obstacles, these promising new tools for cervical cancer prevention may be futile. We share our experiences in the delivery of cervical cancer prevention strategies to U.S. populations experiencing high cervical cancer burden: African-American women in South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi; Haitian immigrant women in Miami; Hispanic women in the U.S.-Mexico Border; Sioux/Native American women in the Northern Plains; white women in the Appalachia; and Vietnamese-American women in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Our goal is to inform future research and outreach efforts to reduce the burden of cervical cancer in underserved populations.
The primary objective of the present study was to evaluate the effects of a community-based pilot intervention that combined cervical cancer education with patient navigation on cervical cancer screening behaviors among Chinese American women residing in New York City.
Chinese women (n = 134) who had not had a Pap test within the previous 12 months were recruited from four Asian community-based organizations (CBOs). Women from two of the CBOs received the intervention (n = 80) consisting of education, interaction with a Chinese physician, and navigation assistance, including help in identifying and accessing free or low-cost screening services. The control group (n = 54) received education delivered by Chinese community health educators and written materials on general health and cancer screening, including cervical cancer, the Pap test, and information about sites that provided free screening. Study assessments were obtained in-person at baseline and postintervention. Screening behavior was self-reported at 12-month postintervention and verified by medical staff.
In the 12-month interval following the program, screening rates were significantly higher in the intervention group (70%) compared to the control group (11.1%). Hierarchical logistic regression analyses indicated that screening behavior was associated with older age (OR = 1.08, 95% CI = 1.01–1.15, p < .05). In addition, women with poorer English language fluency (OR = 0.30, 95% CI = 0.10–0.89, p < .05) and who did not have health insurance were less likely to obtain screening (OR = 0.15, 95% CI = 0.02–0.96, p < .05). Among health beliefs, greater perceived severity of disease was positively associated with screening behavior (OR = 4.26, 95% CI = 1.01-18.04, p < .05).
Community-based programs that provide combined education and patient navigation may be effective in overcoming the extensive linguistic and access barriers to screening faced by Chinese American women.
To examine how the National Cancer Institute-funded Community Network Program (CNP) operationalized principles of community-based participatory research (CBPR).
Based on our review of the literature and extant CBPR measurement tools, scientists from nine of 25 CNPs developed a 27-item questionnaire to self-assess CNP operationalization of nine CBPR principles.
Of 25 CNPs, 22 (88%) completed the questionnaire. Most scored well on CBPR principles to recognize community as a unit of identity, build on community strengths, facilitate co-learning, embrace iterative processes in developing community capacity, and achieve a balance between data generation and intervention. CNPs varied in extent to which they employed CBPR principles of addressing determinants of health, sharing power among partners, engaging community in research dissemination, and striving for sustainability.
Although tool development in this field is in its infancy, findings suggest that fidelity to CBPR processes can be assessed in a variety of settings.
Cancer disparities; community health; empowerment; health status disparities; indigenous populations; minority health; partnerships; training
The objective of this study is to obtain and discuss in-depth information on mental health problems, including the status, barriers, and potential solutions in 1.5 and 2nd generation Asian American young adults. As a part of the Health Needs Assessment project, the researchers conducted two focus groups with 17 young adults (mainly 1.5 or 2nd generation) from eight Asian American communities (Asian Indian, Cambodian, Chinese, Indonesian, Korean, Taiwanese, Thai, and Vietnamese) in Montgomery County, Maryland. We developed a moderator's guide with open-ended questions and used it to collect qualitative data. Using a software, we organized and identified emergent themes by major categories. Participants reported a several common sources of stress that affect the mental health of Asian American young adults including: pressure to meet parental expectations of high academic achievement and live up to the “model minority” stereotype; difficulty of balancing two different cultures and communicating with parents; family obligations based on the strong family values; and discrimination or isolation due to racial or cultural background. Young Asian Americans tend not to seek professional help for their mental health problems; instead they use personal support networks—close friends, significant others, and religious community. Participants suggested that Asian cultural norms that do not consider mental problems important, and associated stigma of seeking professional care might undermine their mental health help seeking behavior. Our findings support a need for delivering culturally appropriate programs to raise awareness of mental health and cultural training for health providers to deliver culturally appropriate care.
Mental health; Asian American; Young adults; Immigrant health; 1.5 generation; 2nd generation