Screening Behaviors Among African American Women at High Risk for Breast Cancer: Do Beliefs About God Matter?
Purpose/Objectives: To examine the relationship between beliefs about God as a controlling force in health and adherence to breast cancer screening among high-risk African American women.
Design: Cross-sectional cohort.
Setting: In-person interviews in rural, southeastern Louisiana and telephone interviews conducted at the University of Utah.
Sample: 52 females who were members of a large kindred with a BRCA1 mutation; no subjects had breast cancer.
Methods: Survey through in-person or telephone interviews.
Main Research Variables: Belief in God as a controlling agent over health measured by the God Locus of Health Control (GLHC) scale; screening behaviors measured by self-report. Adherence was based on consensus-approved recommendations for BRCA1 carriers or women at risk of being carriers.
Findings: Bivariate analysis indicated that presence of a primary care provider and low GLHC scores were associated with seeking clinical breast examination (CBE) and mammography. With the variable "presence of a primary care provider" excluded, GLHC scores were inversely associated with seeking CBE and mammography.
Conclusions: African American women at increased risk for breast cancer and with high GLHC scores may have a decreased inclination to adhere to CBE and mammography recommendations.
Implications for Nursing: Assessing religious and spiritual beliefs and incorporating belief systems into education and counseling sessions may improve understanding and acceptance of presented material.