Prioritizing Prevention: Culture, Context, and Cervical Cancer Screening among Vietnamese American Women
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Few studies have investigated what Vietnamese American women believe about the Pap smear or how those beliefs might influence behavior. Thirty-one Vietnamese American women recruited through snowball sampling were interviewed about their beliefs regarding the Pap smear. Interviews were qualitatively analyzed using a theoretically informed, inductive approach. The women interviewed emphasized the importance of primary prevention of disease through culturally-informed personal health regimens. They were also largely unfamiliar with the Pap smear, but believed that gynecological exams in general were effective and necessary for disease detection. Finally, when access to gynecological care was difficult, women’s faith in their own preventive behaviors helped alleviate their concerns over lack of care. While culturally associated beliefs do not simply “cause” Vietnamese American women to seek or avoid Pap smears, they do influence screening behaviors to a greater or lesser degree, depending on other contextual variables.
- Miller BA, Chu KC, Hankey BF, Riles LAG. Cancer incidence and mortality patterns among specific Asian and Pacific Islander populations in the US. Cancer Causes Control. 2008;19:227–56. CrossRef
- Taylor VM, Yasui Y, Burke N, Nguyen T, Acorda E, Thai H, Qu P, Jackson JC. Pap testing adherence among Vietnamese American women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2004;13:613–9.
- Taylor VM, Nguyen TT, Jackson JC, McPhee SJ. Cervical cancer control research in Vietnamese American communities. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2008;17:2924–30. CrossRef
- Jenkins CN, Le T, McPhee SJ, Stewart S, Ha NT. Health care access and preventive care among Vietnamese immigrants: do traditional beliefs and practices pose barriers? Soc Sci Med. 1996;43:1049–56. CrossRef
- Giao NH, Erickson RV. Guidelines for providing medical care to Southeast Asian refugees. JAMA. 1982;248:710–4. CrossRef
- Mueke MA. Caring for Southeast Asian refugee patients in the USA. AJPH. 1983;73:431. CrossRef
- Hoang GN, Erickson RV. Cultural barriers to effective medical care among Indochinese patients. Annu Rev Med. 1985;36:229–39. CrossRef
- Donnelly TT. The health-care practices of Vietnamese-Canadian Women: cultural influences on breast and cervical cancer screening. CJNR. 2006;38:82–101.
- Do HH, Taylor VM, Burke N, Yasui Y, Schwartz SM, Jackson JC. Knowledge about cervical cancer risk factors, traditional health beliefs, and Pap testing among Vietnamese American women. J Immigr Minor Health. 2007;9:109–14. CrossRef
- Taylor VM, Nguyen TT, Jackson C. Cervical cancer control research in Vietnamese American communities. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2008;17:2924–30. CrossRef
- Yu Xu Y, Ross MC, Ryan R, Wang B. Cancer risk factors of Vietnamese Americans in Rural South Alabama. J Nurs Scholarsh. 2005;37:237–44. CrossRef
- Chavez L, McMullin JM, Mishra SI, Hubbell FA. Beliefs matter: cultural beliefs and the use of cervical cancer screening tests. Am Anthropol. 2001;103:1114–29. CrossRef
- Gregg J. Mixed blessings: cervical cancer screening in Recife, Brazil. Med Anthropol. 2000;19:41–63. CrossRef
- Lock M, Kaufert PA. Introduction. In: Lock M, Kaufert P, editors. Pragmatic women and body politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 1988. p. 1–28.
- Minkler M, Wallerstein N. Introduction to community-based participatory research. In: Minkler M, Wallerstein N, editors. Community-based participatory research for health. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass; 2003. p. 3–26.
- Bernard HR. Research methods in cultural anthropology: qualitative and quantitative approaches. Lanham: Altamira Press; 2004.
- Higgins J, Hirsch JS, Trussell J. Pleasure, prophylaxis and procreation: a qualitative analysis of intermittent contraceptive use and unintended pregnancy. 2008; 40 (3):130–137.
- Braun V, Clarke V. Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qual Res Psychol. 2006;3:77–101. CrossRef
- Craig D. Familiar medicine: everyday health knowledge and practice in today’s Vietnam. Honolulu, Hawai`i: University of Hawaii; 2002. pp. 36–67.
- Gammeltoft T. Women’s bodies, women’s worries: health and family planning in a Vietnamese rural commune. New York: Routledge; 1998. p. 126–60.
- Ito KL. Health culture and the clinical encounter: Vietnamese Refugees’ responses to preventive drug treatment of inactive tuberculosis. Med Anthropol Q. 1999;13:338–64. CrossRef
- Marr D. Vietnamese attitudes regarding illness and healing. In: Owen NG, editor. Death and disease in Southeast Asia. Singapore: Oxford University; 1987. p. 162–86.
- Burke NJ, Jackson JC, Thai HC, Lam DH, Chan N, Acorda E, Taylor VM. “Good health for new years”: development of a cervical cancer control outreach program for Vietnamese immigrants. J Cancer Educ. 2004;19:244–50. CrossRef
- Nguyen GT, Barg FK, Armstrong K, Holmes JH, Hornik RC. Cancer and communication in the health care setting: experiences of older Vietnamese immigrants, a qualitative study. J Gen Intern Med. 2007;23:45–50. CrossRef
- Nguyen TT, Stewart S, Brock KC, Bird JA, Jenkins CNH, Pham GQ. Predictors of cervical pap smear screening awareness, intention, and receipt among vietnamese-american women. Am J Prev Med. 2002;23:207–14. CrossRef
- Taylor VM, Yasui Y, Nguyen TT, Woodall E, Do HH, Acorda E, Li L, Choe J, Jackson JC. Pap smear receipt among Vietnamese immigrants: the importance of health care factors. Ethn Health. 2009;14:575–89. CrossRef
- McPhee SJ, Bird JA, Davis T, Ha N, Jenkins CNH, Le B. Barriers to breast and cervical cancer screening among Vietnamese-American Women. Am J Prev Med. 1997;13:205–13.
- Chilton JA, Gor BJ, Hajek RA, Jones LA. Cervical cancer among Vietnamese women: efforts to define the problem among Houston’s population. Gynecol Oncol. 2005;99:S203–6. CrossRef
- Rosen G. From medical police to social medicine; essays on the history of health care. New York: Science History Publications; 1974.
- Prioritizing Prevention: Culture, Context, and Cervical Cancer Screening among Vietnamese American Women
Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Volume 13, Issue 6 , pp 1084-1089
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer US
- Additional Links
- Cervical cancer
- Pap smear CBPR
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Division of General Internal Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, 97239, USA
- 2. School of Nursing, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, 97239, USA
- 3. Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization, Portland, OR, 97239, USA
- 4. Department of Family Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, 97239, USA