In the Spotlight
Capturing Programs & Voices from the Field
Breast Cancer Knowledge, Attitudes, Beliefs and
Screening Practices among First-Generation
Immigrant Muslim Women
Contributed by: Memoona Hasnain, MD, MHPE, PhD, Associate Professor and
Director of Research, Department of Family Medicine,
University of Illinois College of Medicine Associate Professor and Director of Research in the Department of Family Medicine, University of Illinois (
We would like to congratulate our SAPHA Board Member, Dr. Memoona Hasnain and her colleagues, Usha Menon, Carol Ferrans,and Laura Szalacha for winning first place for their poster presentation in the category of Community and Public Health at the Women's Health 2012: The 20th Annual Congress organized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Research on Women's Health & Sexual Differences. More information on their poster, "Breast cancer knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and screening practices among first-generation immigrant Muslim women" is provided below and also posted in the Journal of Woman's Health.
Background: Immigrant Muslim women in the US represent a fast-growing and under-studied population whose healthcare behaviors,including breast cancer screening practices, are influenced by religious and cultural beliefs. Although evidence indicates Muslim women under utilize mammography, a critically important early detection tool, there is a paucity of rigorous theory-based descriptive and intervention research on this population.
Objectives: To establish screening practices and to explore predictors, including religious and cultural factors, associated with mammography use by first-generation immigrant Muslim women in Chicago.
Results: Each of the established scales was internally consistent (alpha coefficients ranged from .64 to .91). Screening rates were higher for ever having a mammogram(71%) than adherence (52%)- mammogram within the last two years. Three factors were significant predictors of ever having a mammogram: length of stay in the US (AOR= 1.08 95%CI = 1.03-1.14); self-efficacy (AOR= 1.83 95%CI = 1.00-3.31), and self-perceived importance of screening (AOR= 1.38 95%CI = 1.16-1.57). Two factors were significant predictors of mammogram in the past two years: having a primary health care provider (AOR= 2.36 95%CI = 1.01-5.01), and self received importance of screening (AOR= 1.25 95%CI = 1.09-1.44).
Conclusions: These findings provide guidance for reaching out particularly to new immigrants, empowering patients, and reinforcing the importance of screening through patient education and provider recommendations.
South Asian Tobacco Cessation &
Cancer Awareness Resource (SATCCAR)
Contributed by: Rajiv Ulpe, Community Health Educator
UMDNJ—Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Rajiv Ulpe, BDS, MPH, is a Community Health Educator for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Rajiv served as the health educator for the South Asian Tobacco Cessation & Cancer Awareness Resource (SATCCAR). In addition, he has also served as a program manager on a research study on tobacco use cessation for Asian Americans, including Asian Indians, and participated in an analysis of an Avian Influenza project in Pakistan.
SATCCAR is a project that is grant funded through the National Cancer Institute as an administrative supplement to the Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey - New Brunswick, NJ.
Smokeless tobacco use is quite common among South Asians and is associated with substantial health risks that are greater than their western counterparts. New Jersey and the United States have seen a large increase in the South Asian community for more than a decade. It is important that the cancer prevention and health promotion needs of this growing, yet underserved population be addressed.
>>Conduct a local and national needs assessment to determine knowledge, attitudes, behaviors and practices regarding smoking and smokeless tobacco.
>> Develop culturally appropriate messages regarding the harms of smoking, smokeless tobacco use, and cessation in the South Asian population.
>> Develop an educational/outreach and message dissemination plan.
>> Implement a local education/outreach activity focused on development of a tobacco cessation curriculum tailored to the needs of the South Asian population.
>> Data analysis of the Tobacco Use Supplement to identify tobacco use rates among South Asians. This survey analysis was the first of its kind to identify South Asians by country of origin, and revealed significant difference for tobacco use rates, especially smokeless tobacco for South Asians in New Jersey and the Northeastern US. Publication of the descriptive data analysis appeared in the May 2011 edition of the Journal of Oncology (www.hindawi.com/journals/jo/2011/252675/).
>> Compilation of existing national and local resources for South Asians on tobacco use.
>> Conducted a community needs assessment through expert interviews.
For more information, please contact Rajiv Ulpe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
South Asian Healthy Aging Research Association
Contributed by: Nasiya Ahmed, MD, Assistant Professor
University of Texas Health Science Center
The South Asian Healthy Aging Research Association (SAHARA) was formed last year by Dr. Nasiya Ahmed a faculty member at the University of Texas Health Science Center Medical School in Houston. SAHARA is an interdisciplinary group of healthcare professionals, including representatives from the University of Texas Medical School, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, School of Public Health, and Nursing School, who are interested in research of the aging South Asian population. The general purpose of SAHARA is to determine the geriatric issues facing the South Asian population, with the long-term goal of developing a plan of physician and community education to ensure healthy aging in the South Asian community, as well as a plan for further clinical research. Many of the members of SAHARA are an ethnic and religious representation of the Houston South Asian population and have also done research in minority populations, including the South Asian population. The association recently received a grant from the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Charitable Foundation to study the perceptions of aging in this community.
For further information, please contact Dr. Nasiya Ahmed by e-mail at Nasiya.Ahmed@uth.tmc.edu or by phone at 713-500-7320. Associate Professor and Director of Research in the Department of Family Medicine, University of Illinois (