Lilfisha for the Cure. The Education of Arab-Muslim Women in Breast Health Using Community Health Workers. An Empowerment Model of Health Education
Article first published online: 14 JUN 2012
© 2012 AWHONN, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing
Special Issue: 2012 Convention Proceedings
Volume 41, Issue s1, page S4, June 2012
How to Cite
McKeever, A. and McDermott-Levy, R. (2012), Lilfisha for the Cure. The Education of Arab-Muslim Women in Breast Health Using Community Health Workers. An Empowerment Model of Health Education. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, 41: S4. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6909.2012.01358_7.x
- Issue published online: 14 JUN 2012
- Article first published online: 14 JUN 2012
- breast cancer;
- low-income immigrant women;
- Arab-Muslim women;
- Arab-Islamic women;
- breast cancer risk assessment;
- community health needs;
- health care disparities
Purpose for the Program
According to the Census, the Arab community is defined as a “hard-to-count” population. Historically, Arab American's classification as White has led to serious problems in the undercounting of the community. There are little data in the literature about the health needs of Arab-Muslim women living in the United States. They are considered to be an understudied, underserved, and invisible population. With the growing number of Iraqi refugees in the United States, this community is specifically in need of breast health education. Islamic teachings support the idea that women are responsible for maintaining their health. However, there are religious and cultural practices that could impede women's participation in breast cancer screening, such as issues of modesty (self-breast examination and clinical breast examination) with female health providers. Considering all these factors and challenges, the need to increase outreach to the Arab American community in breast health education is significant.
The purpose of the “Lilfisha” project is to educate Arab-Muslim women older than 40 years about breast health, including health prevention, health screening, and access to care. The outcome measures will include pretest and posttest evaluation of their knowledge as well as follow-up on behavior change to see if they sought mammography screening.
Implementation, Outcomes, and Evaluation
Using Arab-Muslim trained community health workers, the authors developed an empowerment model of breast health education that was reviewed by Arab-Muslim experts for cultural appropriateness. The community health workers were trained by the nurse-author experts. The objective of the program is for breast health and screening education to be held for small groups of women throughout the year. The Arab-Muslim women will be visited by the community health worker and the certified registered nurse practitioner. They will receive the educational program and a clinical breast exam as well as a referral for a screening mammogram.
Implications for Nursing Practice
Measurable outcomes will be assessed using a previously tested culturally appropriate tool. The development and implementation of culturally appropriate educational interventions for immigrant minority women can provide increased awareness and access to health care.