The attitudes and beliefs about breast cancer in haitian american women


The incidence and mortality rates for cancer are increasing disproportionately within ethnic groups in the United States. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer affecting women from every culture. Culturally sensitive health promotion and health prevention breast cancer educational materials can not be developed without a clear understanding of cultural beliefs regarding breast cancer. The purpose of this study was to examine the beliefs about breast cancer screening among working women of Haitian descent who are living in the Central Florida area. Rosenstock's Health Belief Model provided the theoretical framework for the study. The design involved the use of a questionnaire modified from a previously tested questionnaire by Sugarek, Deyo, and Holmes ( 1988) to study a multi-ethnic clinic population. The original instrument was based on the Health Belief Model theory. A medical clinic that serves a multi-ethnic employee population was the site for data collection. The 30 item questionnaire was administered to working Haitian women who, after being fully infonned, volunteered to participate.

Results of the modified questionnaire indicated an internal consistency reliability alpha = 0.91. Content validity was determined by a panel of cultural and breast cancer experts.

Descriptive summary statistics were used in this study. Percentage distribution was used to determine the percent of the sample and where scores fell in relation to each question. The sociodemographic characteristics of the sample were summarized by mean and standard deviation.

Findings revealed a low perceived susceptibility with a strong belief in the value of finding breast cancer early. There was an indication of strong perceived benefit of breast cancer surveillance techniques when they are prefonned or suggested by the health care provider. Findings also revealed a deficit in knowledge about breast cancer which has a direct effect on perceived susceptibility.

It is the intention of the investigator to use the results of this study, and the literature reviewed to support the study, to develop a culturally specific breast cancer screening program for Haitian women in the Central Florida area. Thus filling a vital need for breast cancer education of Haitian American women.


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Graduation Date





Dow, Karen H.


Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Health and Public Affairs






74 p.



Length of Campus-only Access


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Masters Thesis (Open Access)




Dissertations, Academic -- Health and Public Affairs; Health and Public Affairs -- Dissertations, Academic

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