Knowledge, Beliefs, Attitudes and Perceptions About Breast and Cervical Cancer and Screening Among Arabic Speaking Immigrant Women in Halifax, Nova Scotia

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Amin, Maha Abdelrahaman
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Women of all races and ethnicities are at risk for breast cancer and cervical cancer. These types of cancer have remained major public health issues across the world. Although effective strategies for preventing breast and cervical cancer have yet to be developed, following early detection practices can reduce the impact of the disease and allow for a greater range of treatment options (American Cancer Society, 2005). Informed by Black feminism and critical social theory relevant to Adult education this qualitative study was conducted to explore the knowledge, beliefs, attitudes and perceptions Arabic speaking immigrant women in Halifax, Nova Scotia towards breast and cervical cancer among. The data were collected in two phases. The first phase consisted of a survey in which 100 Arabic speaking women who are all married and are 21 years and older participated. In phase two semi-structured interviews were conducted with five of Arabic speaking women who were from a range of backgrounds and age groups. The study's findings reveal that there is a lack of knowledge about breast and cervical cancer and screening for these cancers among Arabic speaking women. Results indicated that the health care system in itself presents a number of challenges for Arabic speaking women to obtain screening. Different factors influence Arabic women's decisions about going or not going for screening and thus related to the delay in seeking help for breast and cervical screening. These factors are related to cultural or other factors such as lack of knowledge, fear, and social influence as well as language. Strategies to reach Arabic speaking women include a variety of recommended methods such as through educational sessions at clinics and/or in community sites. This study will be helpful in planning and delivering screening services to women in the Arabic community in Halifax and elsewhere.
Women, Arab -- Nova Scotia , Breast cancer , Cervical cancer