Online Program

Promoting cancer screening for Asian American populations

Monday, November 4, 2013

Grace X. Ma, PhD, Department of Public Health, Temple University, Center for Asian Health, Philadelphia, PA
Brenda Seals, PhD, MPH, Center for Asian Health, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Yin Tan, MPH, MD, Department of Public Health, Temple University, Center for Asian Health, Philadelphia, PA
Sylvia Y. Wang, B.A., Department of Public Health, Temple University, Center for Asian Health, Philadelphia, PA
Richard Lee, MPH, Asian Community Health Coalition, Philadelphia, PA
Background: Cancer screening rates remain low for Asian populations and vary by ethnicity and age.

Objective: The goal of this study was to provide in-depth qualitative information for identifying mechanisms to promote cancer screening.

Methods: Eight focus groups were conducted (n=103), four with Chinese Americans (two cities) and two each with Koreans and Vietnamese. One moderator with a translator conducted each group using a standardized guide. Inter-coder reliability of 48.98% of the text resulted in 95.22% agreement prior to recoding for consensus.

Results: Responses about colorectal (CRC), breast and cervical cancer screening, and Hepatitis B screening indicated that participants had a basic interest in and knowledge of screening guidelines. However, they encountered numerous screening barriers, including transportation, lack of time, costs, insurance, “feeling well”, fears of finding something, discomfort (CRC) and language. Attending community workshops, wanting to live longer to see children/grandchildren grow up, having symptoms, and trusting medical providers' advice promoted screening. Some described specifics of testing (when to start screening and procedures) and new information (Hepatitis B screening and transmission) had misinformation. Vietnamese groups reported lowest knowledge levels. Participants suggested reaching Asians by working with respected organizations and offering workshops with motivational speakers or cancer survivors.

Conclusions: Information about changes in screening guidelines needs to be better disseminated. With increasing cancer risk factors in these diverse, fast growing populations, public health efforts to promote screening and prevention are urgent. Addressing cancer health disparities depends on better reaching Asian populations.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe at least three barriers and facilitators of cancer screening among Asian Americans. Explain how national programs and health insurers can improve policies and procedures for reaching Asian Americans. Discuss the importance of addressing health disparities for Asian Americans through CBPR community health planning.

Keyword(s): Cancer Screening, Asian Americans

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator of multiple federally funded grants focusing on behavioral health intervention trials, health disparities/transcultural health care for underserved Asian Americans and other ethnic minority populations, cancer prevention and intervention, tobacco control and lung cancer, chronic disease intervention, public health education and community health, health promotion, and global or international health. Among my scientific interests has been the development of strategies of preventing cancer, chronic disease and tobacco control.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.