Fatalistic Attitudes May Keep Hispanic Women From Cancer
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Fatalism, a belief that
life's events are predetermined, may be one reason why Hispanic
women have some of the lowest cancer screening rates in the United
States, new research suggests.
Hispanic women are much more likely than white women to believe
that cancer is not preventable, and that death is inevitable in
those diagnosed with cancer, the researchers found.
Karla Espinosa de los Monteros and Linda Gallo from San Diego
State University reviewed 11 studies that examined the association
between Hispanic women's fatalism and their screening rates for
cervical, breast and colorectal cancers.
The women in the studies were asked to what extent they agreed
or disagreed with statements such as "cancer is like a death
sentence," "cancer is God's punishment," "illness is a matter of
chance," "there is little that I can do to prevent cancer," and "it
does not do any good to try to change the future because the future
is in the hands of God."
Seven of the 11 studies found a statistically significant link
between fatalism and reduced use of cancer screening services.
Further studies are needed to learn more about this association,
the authors noted.
"Improving our understanding of the importance of fatalism in explaining underutilization of cancer screening services among Latinas may drive the development of more effective and culturally appropriate interventions to reduce ethnic disparities in cancer," the study authors concluded.
The study is scheduled for publication in the online edition of
International Journal of Behavioral Medicine.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about
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