Objective: To determine local screening rates for breast and cervical cancer screening among Cambodian women older than 50 years of age who had used the health-care system, to compare these rates with those for non- Cambodian women, to identify barriers to screening among Cambodians, and to implement community screening. Material and Methods: From review of medical records, cancer screening rates for 1 year among Cambodians (N = 57) were compared with rates for a matched non-Cambodian sample (N = 57). Southeast Asian focus groups identified barriers to screening as a basis for intervention. The intervention included community informational programs in the Cambodian language, group screening appointments, provision of transportation, use of female physicians and interpreters, and an informal clinic setting. Cancer screening rates were compared before and after the intervention. Results: Initial screening rates for Cambodians were significantly lower than for the non-Cambodians. Expressed barriers included lack of knowledge about cancer, shyness at physical examination, lack of transportation, fear of a large, technical medical center, and individual appointments. After the intervention, community screening rates were almost 5 times higher than at baseline. Conclusion: The intervention was successful in overcoming organizational, economic, and cultural barriers to cancer screening among older Cambodian women in this setting.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported in part by the Fraternal Order of the Eagles, Olmsted County, Minnesota ; Grants CA 15083 and CA 57825 from the National Cancer Institute ; Grant MD1 RR 00585 from the National Institutes of Health, Public Health Service; and Fondo de Investigaciones Sanitarias ( Fis 93/5379 ), Barcelona, Spain (M.D.M.F.C.).