Perspectives of African American women about barriers to breast cancer prevention and screening practices: A qualitative study

Abosede F. Obikunle, Bosede Ade-Oshifogun


Breast cancer is a severe illness that often has fatal consequences. Adherence to the recommendations for breast cancer surveillance is poorly practiced among African American women. The study aimed to identify barriers to preventative screening for breast cancer among African American women (AAW) using a qualitative research design. We explored the influence of personal barriers, stereotypes, socioeconomic status, culture, attitudes, and beliefs on African American women's behavior regarding breast cancer screening. Fourteen African American women were interviewed. Data analysis was completed with Interpretative Phenomenology Approach (IPA). This study's findings demonstrated that African American women perceived the barriers to breast cancer screening include lack of information about available resources, belief that screening cannot change genetic predisposition, embarrassment from exposing the breast for a mammogram, fear of mammograms, and fear of a positive result. These findings may be used to develop interventions to increase AAW’s participation in breast cancer screening. (Afr J Reprod Health 2022; 26[7]: 22-28).

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