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    Home > Research & Grants > Grants Program > Research Grants > Research Grants Awarded > Abstract
    Awarded Grants
    Muslim Women’s Perceptions, Needs and Barriers to Breast Cancer and Screening

    Scientific Abstract:
    Muslim women residing in the United States are in need of culturally appropriate services and information concerning breast cancer. Although breast cancer prevalence is low among Arab, Iranian, South Asian, and African American women relative to Whites, breast cancer-specific mortality rates tend to be higher among these groups. The roles of culture, religion, and health care are poorly understood among Muslim women. Linguistically and culturally adapted breast cancer intervention for Muslim women is not available. In order to develop and implement a breast cancer promotion in this population, a thorough understanding of these factors is required. Our ultimate goal is to increase breast cancer awareness and screening among Muslim women. We hypothesize that Muslim women will show health care and behavioral needs related to breast cancer knowledge, perception, and barriers to services and information. Socio-cultural and religious factors could contribute to the disparity in cancer risk among this population. We propose to adopt and expand the Muslim Breast Cancer Task Force through which we will adapt breast cancer related materials and conduct a study to identify the potential factors that contribute to the disparity in breast cancer among this population in Southern California. The specific aims are to: 1) Adopt/expand the Muslim Breast Cancer Task Force; 2) Adapt available validated instrument and material using focus groups; and 3) measure community perception, needs, barriers, socio-cultural and religious factors, services, and information regarding breast cancer using survey interviews. We propose to use focus group to adapt and test the available validated questions and materials. Eight focus groups with demographics will be conducted among a convenience sample of Muslim women from the four target ethnicities. Using the adapted questionnaire, Interviews will be conducted among a random sample of 400 Muslim women. Benefits will be directly related to study outcomes, which can inform us about the perceptions, specific needs and barriers among the Muslim women. The findings will assist in the development of an appropriate program to increase breast cancer awareness and use of screening among Muslim women. Our contributions to the literature on the breast cancer and screening topic will be unique. It will not only increase awareness about breast cancer and screening among the four groups, but it may be transferable to other Muslim population.

    Lay Abstract:
    Muslim women living in the United States are facing challenges in accessing health care and the need of culturally competent services and materials. There is a lack of cancer research, education, and awareness about breast cancer within this population. We propose to establish a breast cancer task force (representative group of Muslim women from the community of African American, Iranian, Arab, and South Asian population) and study Muslim women from African American, Iranian, Arab, and South Asian culture who are residing in Southern California to examine factors that contribute to breast cancer disparity by identifying perceptions, needs, and barriers to health care, cancer screening services, and information. There are many reasons to believe that the contradiction between lower breast cancer rates and higher likelihood of cancer death in this population is related to barriers related to health care system, inadequate information about cancer prevention, and/or socio-cultural, religious, and other attitudinal characteristics. The study will help in understanding the needs and barriers that characterize the Muslim women population residing in Southern California. The study will enroll 80 Muslim women in eight discussion groups and 400 Muslim women for face-to-face interview. The interview will be conducted in the participant’s preferred language using an instrument that is been culturally and linguistically adapted. We will collaborate with faith-based and community organizations to gain access to this population. Results obtained from the study may help increase breast cancer’s awareness and the likelihood of early detection and assist in developing a promotional program to increase breast cancer awareness and use of screening services and information among Muslim women population.