Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Faye Belgrave


Vietnamese women experience cancer screening disparities and inconsistent adherence to screening guidelines. The goal of this study was to implement and evaluate a breast and cervical cancer screening intervention to promote cancer screening knowledge, attitudes, self-efficacy, intention, and behavior for Vietnamese women. Secondary objectives of the study included examining the relationships between cultural variables (e.g., acculturation, ethnic identity, religiosity, and collectivism) and cancer screening variables. The study enrolled 102 women from the greater Richmond metropolitan area. Participants were assigned to an intervention group or a print material control group. In the intervention session, participants were exposed to information on female cancers and were taught how and where to access Pap tests and clinical breast exams (CBE). Follow-up data were collected six months after the intervention to determine whether or not there were longer-term program effects. Intervention participants also took part in focus groups that examined their reactions, thoughts, feelings, and experiences in regards to the intervention. In addition, focus groups explored participants’ sources of motivation for cancer screening and whether they shared information obtained in the sessions with other individuals. The intervention was effective in promoting immediate and longer-term gains in breast and cervical cancer knowledge, attitudes towards screening, self-efficacy for screening, and actual screening behaviors. The study’s findings indicated that acculturation was linked to higher levels of self-efficacy and screening behavior and less positive attitudes towards screening. Personal and social extrinsic religiosity were associated with more positive attitudes towards screening. Social extrinsic religiosity was also associated with more self-efficacy for screening and screening behavior. Intrinsic religiosity was linked to lower levels of self-efficacy for screening. Focus group discussions revealed that the women shared cancer-related information with friends, female family members, and husbands. Focus group discussions also revealed that emphasis on caretaking roles may help increase women’s adherence to screening guidelines. This study provides evidence for the effectiveness of culturally-tailored strategies in developing cancer screening interventions for the Vietnamese population. This study also demonstrates how health information is transmitted across informal channels within faith-based communities.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2011

Included in

Psychology Commons