Original Paper

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 149-158

First online:

Increasing Screening Mammography Among Immigrant and Minority Women in Canada: A Review of Past Interventions

  • Nour Schoueri-MychasiwAffiliated withSchool of Public Health & Health Systems, University of Waterloo Email author 
  • , Sharon CampbellAffiliated withPropel Centre for Population Health Impact, University of Waterloo
  • , Verna MaiAffiliated withCanadian Partnership Against Cancer

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Screening mammograms are important to detect breast cancer at earlier and more treatable stages. Immigrant and minority women report low participation rates due to barriers related to cultural beliefs and norms, privacy/modesty, and language. This review examines whether screening mammogram interventions in Canada and other countries with comparable health-care systems have addressed the needs of these women. Our systematic literature search identified studies that focused on increasing screening mammogram participation among immigrant and/or minority women. We used the Health Belief Model and the PRECEDE-PROCEED Model to guide our critical synthesis of the reviewed interventions and the recommendations for the future. Eight studies met the search criteria. Overall, interventions showed some increase in mammogram participation rates. The barriers targeted were relatively similar across studies and there was a focus on increasing cues to screening. This review illustrates that it is essential to develop and implement programs to overcome the unique barriers to screening mammography if we are to increase participation among immigrants and minority women. We suggest other potentially effective health promotion strategies as a starting point for discussion and future research.


Screening mammogram Immigrant and minority health Barriers to screening Women’s health