Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 242–250 | Cite as

Concept Mapping with South Asian Immigrant Women: Barriers to Mammography and Solutions

  • Farah Ahmad
  • Sadia Mahmood
  • Igor Pietkiewicz
  • Laura McDonald
  • Ophira Ginsburg
Original Paper


Despite benefits of screening mammography, many South Asian (SA) immigrant women in Canada remain under screened. We aimed to elicit their experiences and beliefs about barriers to mammography and possible solutions. SA immigrant women aged 50 years or over were eligible if they never had a mammogram or had one more than 3 years ago. We employed the participatory mixed-method approach of Concept Mapping. Sixty women participated with a mean age of 58 years. Participants brainstormed 150 items which were consolidated into 67 items. After sorting and rating, cluster analysis revealed eight clusters of barriers on knowledge, fear, language and transportation, access to mammogram center, access to doctor, beliefs and practices, self-care, and family dependence. Participants discussed possible solutions, and emphasized out-reach models to address knowledge gaps and issues of language and transportation. One example was a community-based shuttle bus to screening centres, hosted by trained co-ethnic workers. The results are discussed to enhance the socio-cultural sensitivity of breast screening programs.


Breast cancer screening South Asian Immigrant Qualitative Canada 



The study was conducted in collaboration with Brampton Multicultural Community Centre (BMCC). We are thankful to the BMCC staff for their support and advice, in particular Ms. Dima Amad and Tayyaba Tanveer. We also thank, Deborah Fisher-Holmes from Ontario Breast Screening Program for assistance. The project funds were provided by the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Cancer Prevention and Screening Network, and the Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Farah Ahmad
    • 1
  • Sadia Mahmood
    • 1
  • Igor Pietkiewicz
    • 2
  • Laura McDonald
    • 3
  • Ophira Ginsburg
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Social and Behavioral Health Sciences DivisionUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Warsaw School of Social Sciences and HumanitiesWarsawPoland
  3. 3.Health Promotion, Ontario Breast Screening Program, Cancer Care OntarioTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Women’s College Research InstituteTorontoCanada
  5. 5.Central East Regional Cancer ProgramLondonCanada

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