Online Program

Attitudes and intentions to undergo genetic testing for breast cancer susceptibility among Latinas living along the US-Mexico border

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Patricia Chalela, DrPH, MPH, IHPR Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistic, School of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
Dejun Su, PhD, Department of Health promotion, Social and Behavioral Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
José A. Pagán, PhD, Department of Health Management and Policy, University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX
Edgar Munoz, MS, The Institute of Health Promotion Research, Dept of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
Leonel Vela, MD, MPH, School of Medicine, UT Health Science Center Regional Academic Health Center, Harlingen, Harlingen, TX
Susan Naylor, PhD, Department of Cellular & Structural Biology, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
Amelie G. Ramirez, DrPH, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, Institute for Health Promotion Research, San Antonio, TX
Background: Genetic testing for breast cancer may facilitate better-informed decisions regarding cancer prevention, risk reduction, more effective early detection, and better determination of risk for family members. Despite these potential benefits, Latinas lack awareness of genetic testing for breast cancer susceptibility. Among women who are tested, less than 4% are Latina. This study explores attitudes and behavioral intentions to undergo genetic testing among average-risk Latinas along the Texas-Mexico border. Methods: This study surveyed 200 low-income Latinas living in Hidalgo, Starr and Cameron counties, a largely Latino region of South Texas. The questionnaire, developed using simplified language with a maximum fifth-grade readability level and pretested before administration, sought demographic information, breast cancer history and risk, health literacy and numeracy, genetic testing knowledge, attitudes and behavioral intentions, and communication preferences. Results: Participants mostly were of Mexican American origin (93%), had high-school education or less (58%) and had a family income of less than $40,000 (63%). Most participants had positive attitudes and strong interest in genetic testing. Physicians were identified as the most-trusted source of information and medical advice. Barriers and enabling factors associated with genetic testing intentions will be assessed and presented once the analysis is complete. Conclusion: The delivery of culturally adapted risk information is needed to increase and ensure Latinas' understanding of breast cancer genetic testing during their decision-making processes. Key Latino values—religiosity, importance of family and the influential role of health care providers in health decisions—should also be considered when designing interventions targeting this specific group.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Communication and informatics
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe one benefit of genetic testing for breast cancer susceptibility. Discuss the importance of delivering culturally relevant breast cancer risk information to Latinas. Identify key factors associated with Latina's behavioral intentions to undergo genetic testing for breast cancer susceptibility.

Keyword(s): Breast Cancer, Risk Communication

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: My main focus of research has been in behavioral science research and health promotion/health communications with specific focus on Latinos. I have participated in the design, implementation and evaluation of national, regional and local research projects and have a broad background in qualitative and quantitative research methods. I was a key player in the Hispanic Genetics Community Consultation Network , a national Delphi survey to establish a national research agenda on cancer genetics for Latinos.
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.