, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 540-546
Date: 23 Mar 2011

East Meets West: A Brief Report of a Culturally Sensitive Breast Health Education Program for Chinese-Australian Women

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Abstract

Chinese-Australian women are less likely to undergo breast health examination compared to women born in Australia, and cultural beliefs have been identified as a barrier to screening participation and breast health practices. We sought to promote awareness using trained lay health advisers (breast health advocates). This paper discusses the impact of the training program on advocate knowledge and beliefs, and women's experience as advocates. Thirty-seven of 50 women approached participated in an education program. The education was delivered over one full day and one half-day follow-up. Data were collected using questionnaires, focus groups and interviews. The program increased participant knowledge of breast health, decreased misperceptions about breast cancer and enhanced participants' readiness to discuss these topics with other Chinese women. Advocates enjoyed the role but did not always remember to promote awareness. The program appears effective and is suitable for further, more widespread testing.