Title"We don't talk about it" and other interpersonal influences on Hmong women's breast and cervical cancer screening decisions.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsThorburn, S, Kue, J, Keon, KLevy, Zukoski, A
JournalHealth education research
Date Published2012 Dec 4

Hmong women in the United States have low rates of breast and cervical cancer screening, and the factors that influence screening in this population are not well understood. This qualitative study explored family and clan influences on Hmong women's breast and cervical cancer screening attitudes and behavior. We conducted in-depth interviews with Hmong women and men living in Oregon. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed. Transcripts of 83 interviews were analysed using content analysis. We identified four key themes. First, Hmong women make decisions about breast and cervical cancer screening independently. Second, Hmong families do not discuss breast and cervical cancer screening. For some, not talking about breast and cervical cancer screening was seen as a way that family and clan influence attitudes. Third, Hmong families can provide encouragement and support for screening. Although women make their own decisions, about one-half of participants reported that family encouraged or supported them or women in their family to get screened. Fourth, some family members, especially elders, may actively discourage screening. This study contributes to knowledge about potential barriers and facilitators to breast and cervical cancer screening for Hmong women. Findings expand our understanding of clan and male family member's influence over Hmong women's screening behavior.