Cultural Beliefs and Clinical Breast Examination in Hmong American Women: The Crucial Role of Modesty

Hee Yun Lee, Suzanne Vang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Despite grave cancer disparities in Hmong American women, investigation of the group’s breast cancer screening behavior is sparse. This study examined how cultural factors are associated with breast cancer screening utilization, specifically clinical breast exam (CBE), in this population. One hundred and sixty-four Hmong American women between ages 18 and 67 were recruited from a large Midwestern metropolitan area with a median age of 28.0 years. Logistic regression was used to assess the association of cultural variables with receipt of CBE. Roughly 73 % of Hmong American women reported ever having had a CBE. Logistic regression revealed that endorsing more modest views was the greatest barrier to ever having had a CBE. Age and language preference were also found to be significant predictors of past CBE use. Cultural factors should be considered in developing interventions aimed at promoting breast cancer screening in this population. In particular, Hmong American women who have less English proficiency and are relatively younger should be targeted in breast cancer screening efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)746-755
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 30 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Breast cancer screening
  • Cancer health disparity
  • Clinical breast exam
  • Culture
  • Hmong American women


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