The Role of Cultural Factors on Breast Cancer Screening Participation: Community-based pilot study assessing the influence of cultural factors on health behaviours regarding breast cancer screening among non-Dutch mother tongue women in the Netherlands.
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Breast cancer screening programs in the Netherlands offer high-risk women between the ages of 50 and 75 a free mammography every two years, with the purpose of increasing early detection and lowering the mortality rate. However, not all high-risk women have equal access to breast cancer screenings due to different cultural factors that prevent them from performing the recommended health behaviour. The present community-based pilot study analyses the possible impact of health literacy, cultural perception, and past experiences of non-Dutch mother tongue speaking women on the accessibility of breast cancer screening. To answer the research question, data was collected using a self-administered digital questionnaire through snowball sampling (n = 38) in collaboration with Mammarosa Foundation. The results show that the chosen tool and distribution method are not suitable for the high-risk group (n = 2), however, a first insight into the influence of different cultural variables on participation in breast cancer screenings is given. Nonetheless, the results do provide evidence that negative perception of Dutch healthcare creates barriers for the non-high-risk group (n = 36), which are also influence by education level, health literacy, and language proficiency. These findings highlight the need for early-on intervention for non-high-risk individuals, with emphasis on improving their perception of Dutch healthcare and increasing open communication about breastcancer, which is especially crucial as they will be the future high-risk group. In addition, the recommendation is to create role models, accessible information on breast cancer, as well as patient-focused and intercultural communication techniques for healthcare professionals, all of which should be adjusted to the women’s language proficiencies, health literacies, and educational level. Finally, to improve the general adoption of new health behaviour, the focus should be on improving the target population's Dutch language proficiency and health literacy skills.