, Volume 27, Issue 1 Supplement, pp 32-40
Date: 16 Feb 2012

Breast Cancer Screening Beliefs and Behaviors Among American Indian Women in Kansas and Missouri: a Qualitative Inquiry

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American Indian women have rising incidence and disproportionate mortality rates due to breast cancer. Using a community-based participatory research approach, we conducted ten focus groups with American Indian women in Kansas and Missouri to understand their barriers to mammography and identify ways to intervene to improve screening rates. Focus groups were stratified by screening status, including women who were up to date with current screening mammography recommendations (mammogram within the last 2 years, N = 7 groups, 66 participants) and women who were not (N = 3 groups, 18 participants). While many similarities were identified across strata, some differences emerged, particularly descriptions of prior negative experiences with the health care system among women who were not up to date with screening recommendations. Primary areas identified by participants for intervention included culturally appropriate educational materials and interventions directed specifically at improving American Indian women’s trust in Western medicine and alleviating feelings of discrimination.