Understanding Cancer Screening Service Utilization by Somali Men in Minnesota

Barrett Sewali, Rebekah Pratt, Ekland Abdiwahab, Saeed Fahia, Kathleen Thiede Call, Kolawole S. Okuyemi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This study examined factors that influence use of cancer screening by Somali men residing in Minnesota, USA. To better understand why recent immigrants are disproportionately less likely to use screening services, we used the health belief model to explore knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes surrounding cancer screening. We conducted a qualitative study comprised of 20 key informant interviews with Somali community leaders and 8 focus groups with Somali men (n = 44). Somali men commonly believe they are protected from cancer by religious beliefs. This belief, along with a lack of knowledge about screening, increased the likelihood to refrain from screening. Identifying the association between religion and health behaviors may lead to more targeted interventions to address existing disparities in cancer screening in the growing US immigrant population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)773-780
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 30 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for the lead author (BS) was provided by a Grant from the National Cancer Institute (Cancer-related Health Disparities Education and Career Development Program—R25T); Grant # [R25 CA163184-01]. We would also acknowledge the Somali male participants for volunteering to participate in this study. We would like to thank the staff members of the Confederation of the Somali Community who aided in the recruitment and moderating the interviews.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York (Outside the USA).


  • Cancer
  • Health belief model
  • Qualitative
  • Screening
  • Somali men


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