Marhaba: Key informant interview findings from a study of breast and cervical cancer screening barriers and facilitators among muslim women in New York city
BACKGROUND: Muslims are one of the fastest growing religious groups in the US. However, little is known about their health disparities, and how their unique cultural, religious, and social beliefs and practices affect health behaviors and outcomes. Studies demonstrate Muslim women may have lower rates of breast and cervical cancer screening compared to the overall population. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to: 1) conduct a series of key-informant interviews with Muslim community leaders in NYC to understand contextual factors that impact Muslim women's beliefs and practices regarding breast and cervical cancer screening; and 2) inform the development and implementation of a research study on breast and cervical cancer among Muslims. METHODS: Thirteen key-informant interviews were conducted. The sample included imams, female religious leaders, physicians, community-based organization leaders, and social service representatives. The interview guide assessed: 1) Unique healthcare barriers face by Muslim women; 2) Cultural and social considerations in conducting research; 3) Potential strategies for increasing screening in this population; and 4) Content and venues for culturally tailored programming and messaging. RESULTS: Key informants noted the need for the proposed study and that it would be well-received by the community, but cautioned that religious leaders must be involved as gatekeepers. Themes regarding considerations for the development of screening programs included the importance of languagespecific materials and messaging, the gender of the physician, stigma associated with cancer, and structural barriers to screening. CONCLUSION: Community leaders identified the need to address both cultural and structural barriers to screening.
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Describe structural, cultural, religious and social barriers and facilitators to breast and cervical cancer screening among Muslim women in New York City
Identify important factors to consider when developing research studies and educational campaigns for Muslim women
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Coordinator of the MARHABA study and have previous experience working with the topic and population.
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.