Cultural Beliefs and Attitudes About Breast Cancer and Screening Practices Among Arabic Women in Australia

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Abstract

Background:

Arabic women have been consistently reported as having remarkably low participation rates in breast cancer screening measures in their home countries and after migration to Western countries. Little is known about the screening behaviors of Arabic women in Australia.

Objectives:

This study aimed to report breast cancer screening practices among Arabic women in Australia and to examine the relationship between (1) demographic factors and (2) the Arabic version of the Breast Cancer Screening Beliefs Questionnaire (BCSBQ) score and women’s breast screening behaviors.

Methods:

A descriptive cross-sectional method was used. Both English and Arabic versions of the BCSBQ were administered to the 251 Arabic Australian women 18 years or older who participated in the study.

Results:

The majority of participants (62.9%–92%) had heard of breast awareness, clinical breast examination, and mammography. However, only 7.6% practiced breast awareness monthly, 21.4% had undergone clinical breast examination annually, and 40.3% had biannual mammography. Length of stay in Australia, being retired, and being unemployed were positively associated with the recommended performance of breast awareness and mammography. In terms of BCSBQ scores, women who engaged in the 3 screening practices had significantly higher scores on the attitudes to health check-ups and barriers to mammography subscales.

Conclusion:

Attitudes toward health check-ups and perceived barriers to mammography were important determinants of breast cancer screening practices among Arabic Australian women.

Implications for Practice:

To fully understand barriers discouraging Arabic Australian women from participating in breast cancer screening practices, efforts should be focused on specific subgroup (ie, working group) of Arabic Australian women.

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