Screening behaviors among African American women at high risk for breast cancer: do beliefs about god matter?

Anita Yeomans Kinney, Gwyn Emery, William N. Dudley, Robert T. Croyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)835-843
Number of pages9
JournalOncology nursing forum
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology(nursing)


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