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Title: Multi-level determinants of breast cancer screening among Malay-Muslim women in Singapore: a sequential mixed-methods study
Authors: Goh, Su-Ann 
Lee, Jeong Kyu 
Seh, Wei Yan
Ho, Elaine Qiao Ying
Hartman, Mikael 
Chou, Cynthia
Wong, Mee Lian 
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Breast cancer screening
Malay-Muslim women
Southeast Asia
Issue Date: 19-Sep-2022
Publisher: BMC
Citation: Goh, Su-Ann, Lee, Jeong Kyu, Seh, Wei Yan, Ho, Elaine Qiao Ying, Hartman, Mikael, Chou, Cynthia, Wong, Mee Lian (2022-09-19). Multi-level determinants of breast cancer screening among Malay-Muslim women in Singapore: a sequential mixed-methods study. BMC WOMENS HEALTH 22 (1). ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Objective: Ethnic disparity persists despite equal access to health care in Singapore, with Malay-Muslim women having the lowest mammogram uptake rate and highest breast cancer mortality rate. We sought to understand barriers to and facilitators for mammogram uptake in this community. Methods: We used a sequential mixed-methods design to first explore reasons for screening and not screening for breast cancer, then determine factors associated with screening and regular screening in a survey. We used maximum variation sampling for semi-structured in-depth interviews to select screeners and non-screeners of diverse ages and educational levels. Twenty-three Malay-Muslim women aged 40–69 years old were interviewed. Themes were categorized using thematic analysis. For the survey, we applied the Health Belief Model, Social Ecological Model, as well as themes from the interviews and findings from previous studies on factors influencing screening in Muslim women to guide questionnaire design. We surveyed 271 Malay-Muslim women aged 50–69 years old in a nationally representative sample. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine factors associated with ever gone for mammogram and regular mammogram uptake. Results: Through in-depth-interviews, we found perceived benefits of saving lives and breasts from early detection, reminders from doctors and husbands, symptoms, perceived test from God, and personal responsibility to care for one’s health facilitated screening. Barriers were perceived low susceptibility, inconvenience, cost, negative psychological effects, misinformation on mammogram triggering cancer cells, religious beliefs, perceived negative outcomes from mammography and distrust of doctor. From the survey, we found cues from health care professionals and needing symptoms before deciding to go for mammogram to be significantly associated with ever gone for mammogram and regular mammogram. Factors associated with ever gone for mammogram only included age, perceived benefits of saving lives from early detection, perceived importance of mammogram, Punishing Allah Reappraisal, and modesty. Factors associated with regular mammogram only included household income, perceived structural barriers to screening and perceived susceptibility to breast cancer. Conclusions: Mammogram uptake is affected by multiple levels of influence. Interventions to promote screening should be designed with multiple stakeholders including doctors, religious leaders and women who had attended screening.
ISSN: 1472-6874
DOI: 10.1186/s12905-022-01972-y
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