Health beliefs and practices related to breast cancer screening in Filipino, Chinese and Asian-Indian women

Background: Cultural-appropriate strategies can be designed to promote cancer screening if the unique needs and characteristics of ethnic groups are identified. Most of the data available for Asian immigrants living in the U.S. has been aggregated under the Asian-American/Pacific Islanders (AAPI) ethnic category. Methods: A total of 125 women completed self-administered questionnaires that assessed screening practices (i.e. breast self-exam, clinical breast exam, and mammography), related beliefs and knowledge. This paper reports examined cancer-related practices and beliefs among three subgroups of Asian-American women (47 Filipinos, 40 Chinese, and 38 Asian-Indians). Results: The sample mean age was 50.2 years and majority of women (76%) were married. Their length of residence in the United States ranged from less than one year to 37 years, with an average length of residence of 18 years. Results from two-way analyses of variance (ANOVAs) showed the strong influence of ethnicity on perceptions of susceptibility [F(2, 95) = 5.11, p = 0.01] and seriousness [F(2, 99) = 4.85, p = 0.01] related to breast cancer, in addition to an interaction detected between ethnicity and income in terms of perceived barriers [F(5, 107) = 3.04, p = 0.01]. The results also indicated that three common barriers were reported in all three ethnic groups, and three unique barriers were more frequently identified by Chinese (i.e. do not need mammogram if I feel ok [OR = 5.450, 95%; CI = (1.643, 18.081)] and waiting time is too long [OR = 5.070, 95%; CI = (1.674, 15.351)]) and Asian-Indian women (i.e. do not know where to get a mammogram [OR = 9.237, 95%; CI = (3.153, 27.059)]). Conclusions: These findings can be used to develop interventions that are tailored to the special characteristics of immigrant women from different Asian groups.