Strategies for piloting a breast health promotion program in the Chinese-Australian population

Fung Kuen Koo, Cannas Kwok, Kate White, Natalie D'abrew, Jessica K. Roydhouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In Australia, women from non-English-speaking backgrounds participate less frequently in breast cancer screening than English-speaking women, and Chinese immigrant women are 50% less likely to participate in breast examinations than Australian-born women. Chinese-born Australians comprise 10% of the overseas-born Australian population, and the immigrant Chinese population in Australia is rapidly increasing. We report on the strategies used in a pilot breast health promotion program, Living with Healthy Breasts, aimed at Cantonese-speaking adult immigrant women in Sydney, Australia. The program consisted of a 1-day education session and a 2-hour follow-up session. We used 5 types of strategies commonly used for cultural targeting (peripheral, evidential, sociocultural, linguistic, and constituentinvolving) in a framework of traditional Chinese philosophies (Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism) to deliver breast health messages to Chinese-Australian immigrant women. Creating the program's content and materials required careful consideration of color (pink to indicate femininity and love), symbols (peach blossoms to imply longevity), word choice (avoidance of the word death), location and timing (held in a Chinese restaurant a few months after the Chinese New Year), communication patterns (the use of metaphors and cartoons for discussing health-related matters), and concern for modesty (emphasizing that all presenters and team members were female) to maximize cultural relevance. Using these strategies may be beneficial for designing and implementing breast cancer prevention programs in Cantonese-speaking Chinese immigrant communities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100293
JournalPreventing Chronic Disease
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes

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