Cultural beliefs about breast cancer in Vietnamese women

Jong Gun Kim, Hye Chong Hong, Hyeonkyeong Lee, Carol Estwing Ferrans, Eun Mi Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: This study examined factors influencing cultural beliefs associated with later-stage detection of breast cancer and determined what factors influence those cultural beliefs in Vietnamese women residing in a rural Vietnamese community. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted with 289 women aged 20-64 years from 12 villages using a self-administered structured questionnaire. Cultural beliefs were measured with a 13-item cultural beliefs scale consisting of four domains - characteristics of breast lumps, self-help techniques, faith-based beliefs, and futility of treatment. Data were collected in February 2017 and analyzed using chi-square tests, nonparametric tests, Fisher's exact tests, and multiple linear regression analyses with SPSS/WIN 24.0 statistical software. Results: Although the total score was relatively low (3.4 out of 13), cultural beliefs that could contribute to later-stage breast cancer were identified. Younger women (β =.15, p =.016) and women with a lower income (β =.21, p <.001) held more erroneous cultural beliefs as compared to their counterparts. Most women believed they would not get breast cancer if they took care of themselves. More than one-third held cultural beliefs about breast lumps, thinking they would need to be painful and/or actively growing to be breast cancer. Conclusions: The results support the urgent need for education concerning breast cancer health promotion, including breast cancer assessment as well as guidance on evidence-based and up-to-date detection measures to change rural Vietnamese women's cultural beliefs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number74
JournalBMC Women's Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jun 11

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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