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Hong Kong Chinese Women's Lay Beliefs about Cervical Cancer Causation and Prevention

  • Wang, Linda Dong-Ling ;
  • Lam, Wendy Wing Tak ;
  • Wu, Joseph ;
  • Fielding, Richard
  • Published : 2014.10.11

Abstract

Background: This study aimed to seek insights into Chinese women's lay beliefs about cervical cancer causal attributions and prevention. Materials and Methods: Twenty-three new immigrant adult women from Mainland China and thirty-five Hong Kong adult women underwent semi-structured in-depth interviews. Interviews were audio taped, transcribed and analyzed using a Grounded Theory approach. Results: This study generated three foci: causal beliefs about cervical cancer, perceived risk of cervical cancer, and beliefs about cervical cancer prevention. Personal risky practices, contaminated food and environment pollution were perceived as the primary causes of cervical cancer. New immigrant women more likely attributed cervical cancer to external factors. Most participants perceived cervical cancer as an important common fatal female cancer with increased risk/prevalence. Many participants, particularly new immigrant women participants, expressed helplessness about cervical cancer prevention due to lack of knowledge of prevention, it being perceived as beyond individual control. Many new immigrant participants had never undergone regular cervical screening while almost all Hong Kong participants had done so. Conclusions: Some Chinese women hold pessimistic beliefs about cervical cancer prevention with inadequate knowledge about risk factors. Future cervical cancer prevention programs should provide more information and include capacity building to increase Chinese women's knowledge and self-efficacy towards cervical cancer prevention.

Keywords

Cervical cancer;Chinese;immigrants;health perception;qualitative analysis;grounded theory

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