Older Korean American men's prostate cancer screening behavior: The prime role of culture

Hee Yun Lee, Yunkyung Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


East and South Asian male immigrants show markedly low odds of prostate cancer screening as compared to U.S.-born men. However, knowledge about these immigrants' culture-based screening behavior and barriers to screening is extremely limited. This study investigates factors influencing receipt of prostate cancer screening among Korean American immigrant men, particularly investigating culture's impact on screening behaviors. Data were collected through a convenience and purposive sampling technique from 134 Korean American males aged 50 and older recruited in New York City. A structured questionnaire was used and cultural variables were measured by adopting items from Tang and colleagues' work. Approximately 60 % of the sample had received a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test in their lifetime, and of these, about 66 % reported having done so in the previous 12 months. Logistic regression analysis revealed that a crisis-oriented intervention approach was associated with a substantially reduced likelihood of screening. A positive correlation was noted between the use of Eastern medicine and PSA test receipt. Further analysis revealed a significant interaction effect between use of Eastern medicine and age in predicting PSA test uptake. Culture-specific intervention strategies for increasing prostate cancer screening in this group are discussed, with particular attention to increasing pertinent health literacy. Health professionals should consider the cultural domain when working with Korean immigrant men in order to provide culturally competent care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1030-1037
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments Funding for this research was provided by a grant from the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station (MIN-55-01) to the first author. The authors would like to extend their gratitude to the Korean American immigrants who participated in this study.


  • Adherence
  • Cancer health disparity
  • Culture
  • Korean American immigrant men
  • Prostate cancer screening
  • Prostate-specific antigen (PSA)


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