Hmong Americans face high cancer mortality rates even in comparison to their Asian American counterparts, and report low utilization of cancer screenings. To date, no study has been conducted on the cultural barriers this population faces in undergoing cancer screenings. A systematic review of the literature was conducted to examine the existing knowledge regarding the barriers to cancer screening for Hmong Americans. Potential barriers were identified from this examination to include: health access factors (type of health insurance, ethnicity of provider, low English proficiency, and years spent in the U.S.); cultural factors (belief in the spiritual etiology of diseases, patriarchal values, modesty, and mistrust of the western medical system); and cancer literacy factors (cancer and prevention illiteracy). Based on this review, potential cultural and ethnic group-specific prevention strategies and cancer health policies are discussed to address these barriers and enhance screening behavior among the Hmong.
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Lee, H.Y., Vang, S. Barriers to Cancer Screening in Hmong Americans: The Influence of Health Care Accessibility, Culture, and Cancer Literacy. J Community Health 35, 302–314 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10900-010-9228-7