Uncovering homeless African-American women's knowledge of breast cancer and their use of breast cancer screening services

Dee M Baldwin, Shanita Williams-Brown
Journal of National Black Nurses' Association: JNBNA 2005, 16 (1): 24-30
This study explored the knowledge of breast cancer and the use of breast cancer screening services by homeless African-American women in an attempt to understand their use of cancer screening services and whether they understood the information about breast cancer and breast cancer screening. A qualitative study using a focus group format was employed to obtain a deeper understanding of the participants' experiences as they related to knowledge of breast cancer and their use of breast cancer screening services. The sample consisted of 25 (N = 25) African-American women who were currently living in a transient shelter for homeless women and children. Three, one-hour focus group sessions were conducted over a three-week period. Sessions were audio taped and transcribed for analysis. Content analysis was used to analyze the data. Findings from the study revealed categories that were associated with the women's personal experiences with cancer, their knowledge of breast cancer and experiences with the use of screening services, and their motivations as they related to breast cancer screenings. These categories can be useful in providing access to care and in addressing cancer education, screening behaviors, and program planning in homeless African-American women.

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