Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 119–126

Fatalism as a barrier to cancer screening among African-Americans: Philosophical perspectives

  • Barbara D. Powe
  • Alonzo Johnson

DOI: 10.1007/BF02248767

Cite this article as:
Powe, B.D. & Johnson, A. J Relig Health (1995) 34: 119. doi:10.1007/BF02248767


Fatalism has been identified as a crucial barrier to participation in cancer screening among African Americans. The essence of fatalism is woven throughout the lived experience for some African Americans. Therefore, to fully understand its impact, fatalism must be viewed within its broadest historical and sociocultural context. This article explores the philosophical origins and the practical significance of fatalism with regard to cancer screening among this population. Health care professionals must position themselves to promptly identify fatalistic persons. Interventions to successfully negate the influence of fatalism are needed.

Copyright information

© Institutes of Religion and Health 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara D. Powe
    • 1
  • Alonzo Johnson
    • 2
  1. 1.the College of Nursing at the Medical University of South CarolinaCharleston
  2. 2.the Department of Religious Studies at the University of South CarolinaColumbia