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Understanding Hmong Women's Beliefs, Feelings, Norms, and External Conditions About Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening

Authors

  • Maichou Lor M.S., R.N.,

    Corresponding author
    • University of Wisconsin-Madison, Clinical Science Center, School of Nursing, Madison, Wisconsin
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  • Pa Yiar Khang B.S.,

    1. Public Health, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin
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  • Pa Xiong B.A.,

    1. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Gender and Women's Studies and Department of Social Work, Independent Scholar, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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    • Was a student at University of Wisconsin-Madison at the time of this research.
  • Kao Feng Moua B.S., M.L.S., A.S.C.P.,

    1. WFH-St. Francis, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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    • Was a student at University of Wisconsin-Madison at the time of this research.
  • Diane Lauver Ph.D., R.N., F.N.P.-B.C., F.A.A.N.

    1. School of Nursing, Clinical Science Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin
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Correspondence to:

Maichou Lor, University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Nursing, Box 2455 Clinical Science Center, 600 Highland Ave, Madison, WI 53792. E-mail: mlor2@wisc.edu

Abstract

Objectives

To describe the beliefs, feelings, norms, and external conditions regarding breast and cervical cancer screening in a sample of Hmong women.

Design and Sample

In a descriptive design, female Hmong researchers recruited 16 Hmong women (ages 24–73) at a community center. Guided by the Theory of Care Seeking Behavior (TCSB), researchers asked participants semi-structured questions about their beliefs, feelings, norms, and external conditions in a group setting. Researchers documented responses in writing and audio recordings. Guided by theory, we used directed content analysis to categorize responses.

Results

Participants' beliefs' about screening included uncertainty about causes of breast and cervical cancer, uncertainty about Western forms of treatments, and terminal illness as outcomes of such cancer. Many felt embarrassed about breast and cervical cancer screening. Their cultural norms about undressing for an exam and listening to authority figures were different from Western norms. External conditions that influenced participants' for screenings included difficulties in communicating with interpreters and clinicians.

Conclusions

Consistent with the TCSB, Hmong women's beliefs, affect, cultural norms and external conditions helped to understand their use of breast and cervical screening. Findings could guide nursing and public health interventions to improve culturally sensitive, cancer screening for Hmong women.

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