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.
Vietnamese American women represent one of the ethnic subgroups at great risk for cervical cancer in the United States. The underutilization of cervical cancer screening and the vulnerability of Vietnamese American women to cervical cancer may be compounded by their health beliefs.
The objective of this study was to explore the associations between factors of the Health Belief Model (HBM) and cervical cancer screening among Vietnamese American women.
Vietnamese American women (n=1,450) were enrolled into the randomized controlled trial (RCT) study who were recruited from 30 Vietnamese community-based organizations located in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Participants completed baseline assessments of demographic and acculturation variables, health care access factors, and constructs of the HBM, as well as health behaviors in either English or Vietnamese.
The rate of those who had ever undergone cervical cancer screening was 53% (769/1450) among the participants. After adjusting for sociodemographic variables, the significant associated factors from HBM included: believing themselves at risk and more likely than average women to get cervical cancer; believing that cervical cancer changes life; believing a Pap test is important for staying healthy, not understanding what is done during a Pap test, being scared to know having cervical cancer; taking a Pap test is embarrassing; not being available by doctors at convenient times; having too much time for a test; believing no need for a Pap test when feeling well; and being confident in getting a test.
Understanding how health beliefs may be associated with cervical cancer screening among underserved Vietnamese American women is essential for identifying the subgroup of women who are most at risk for cervical cancer and would benefit from intervention programs to increase screening rates.
The purpose of this cross-national study was to determine the leading social influences on smoking among Chinese Americans and mainland Chinese adults with the aim of improving prevention and intervention strategies to reduce smoking rates. A comparative cross-sectional design was used and a stratified-cluster sampling technique was employed in identifying the study sample. An 80-item questionnaire was administered in Chinese to 1222 participants, 812 in China and 410 in the U.S. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistical tests. Results contain comparative data on social influences of smoking among Chinese Americans and mainland Chinese, as well as factors influencing smoking behavior which include cultural beliefs, gender roles, and family relationship dynamics. Grandparents were influential and significantly correlated with current smokers in China. Findings indicate differential effects of social influences on smoking behavior. Similarities and differences provide a basis for improving and/or developing smoking intervention programs of mutual benefit to China and the U.S..
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.
Asian Americans have consistently reported poorer communication with
physicians compared with non-Hispanic Whites (NHW). This qualitative study
sought to elucidate the similarities and differences in communication with
physicians between Chinese and NHW breast cancer survivors.
Forty-four Chinese and 28 NHW women with early-stage breast cancer
(stage 0-IIa) from the Greater Bay Area Cancer Registry participated in
focus group discussions or individual interviews. We oversampled Chinese
women because little is known about their cancer care experiences. In both
interview formats, questions explored patients’ experiences and
feelings when communicating with physicians about their diagnosis,
treatment, and follow-up care.
Physician empathy at the time of diagnosis was important to both
ethnic groups; however, during treatment and follow-up care,
physicians’ ability to treat cancer and alleviate physical symptoms
was a higher priority. NHW and US-born Chinese survivors were more likely to
assert their needs, whereas Chinese immigrants accepted physician advice
even when it did not alleviate physical problems (e.g., pain). Patients
viewed all physicians as the primary source for information about cancer
care. Many Chinese immigrants sought additional information from primary
care physicians and stressed optimal communication over language
Physician empathy and precise information were important for cancer
patients. Cultural differences such as the Western emphasis on individual
autonomy vs. Chinese emphasis on respect and hierarchy can be the basis for
the varied approaches to physician communication we observed. Interventions
based on cultural understanding can foster more effective communication
between immigrant patients and physicians ultimately improving patient
Patient-Physician communication; Chinese Americans; Culture; Breast Cancer
Hepatitis B (HBV) screening; Asian Americans; sociocultural factors
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.