Application of Health Behavior Theories to Breast Cancer Screening among Asian Women


Background: Although breast cancer is a major public health worry among Asian women, adherence toscreening for the disease remains an obstacle to its prevention. A variety of psycho-social and cultural factorspredispose women to delay or avoidance of screening for breast cancer symptoms at the early stages when cureis most likely to be successful. Yet few interventions implemented to date to address this condition in this regionhave drawn on health behavior theory. Materials and
Methods: This paper reviews the existing literature onseveral cognitive theories and models associated with breast cancer screening, with an emphasis on the workthat has been done in relation to Asian women. To conduct this review, a number of electronic databases weresearched with context-appropriate inclusion criteria.
Results: Little empirical work was found that specificallyaddressed the applicability of health theories in promoting adherence to the current breast cancer preventionprograms Among Asian women. However, a few studies were found that addressed individual cognitive factorsthat are likely to encourage women’s motivation to protect themselves against breast cancer in this region ofthe world. The findings suggest that multi-level, socio-cultural interventions that focus on cognitive factors havemuch promise with this issue.
Conclusions: Interventions are needed that effectively and efficiently target thepersonal motivation of at-risk Asian women to seek out and engage in breast cancer prevention. Concerningimplications, personal motivation to seek out and engage in individual preventive actions for breast cancerprevention among Asian women is a timely, high priority target with practical implications for communitydevelopment and health promotion. Further studies using qualitative, anthropologic approaches shaped forimplementation in multi-ethnic Asian settings are needed to inform and guide these interventions.