Barriers to breast cancer screening among diverse cultural groups in melbourne, australia

Jonathan O’Hara, Crystal McPhee, Sarity Dodson, Annie Cooper, Carol Wildey, Melanie Hawkins, Alexandra Fulton, Vicki Pridmore, Victoria Cuevas, Mathew Scanlon, Patricia M. Livingston, Richard H. Osborne, Alison Beauchamp

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37 Citations (Scopus)


This study explored the association between health literacy, barriers to breast cancer screening, and breast screening participation for women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. English-, Arabic-and Italian-speaking women (n = 317) between the ages of 50 to 74 in North West Melbourne, Australia were recruited to complete a survey exploring health literacy, barriers to breast cancer screening, and self-reported screening participation. A total of 219 women (69%) reported having a breast screen within the past two years. Results revealed that health literacy was not associated with screening participation. Instead, emotional barriers were a significant factor in the self-reported uptake of screening. Three health literacy domains were related to lower emotional breast screening barriers, feeling understood and supported by healthcare providers, social support for health and understanding health information well enough to know what to do. Compared with English-and Italian-speaking women, Arabic-speaking women reported more emotional barriers to screening and greater challenges in understanding health information well enough to know what to do. Interventions that can improve breast screening participation rates should aim to reduce emotional barriers to breast screening, particularly for Arabic-speaking women.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1677
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2018


  • Arabic
  • Breast cancer
  • Breast cancer screening
  • CALD
  • Health literacy
  • HLQ
  • Italian
  • Mammography

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