Understanding barriers and facilitators to breast cancer screening among urban First Nations women

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Thesis type
(Project) M.P.P.
Date created
This study examines the problem of low mammography rates among First Nations women residing in Vancouver. Data collection involved one focus group and eleven interviews with First Nations women. Interviews with five key informants also offered a broader perspective on the policy problem. Eighteen urban First Nations women who took part in the research revealed barriers and facilitators to accessing mammography. Barriers to screening include disrespectful attitudes of technologists, negative body image, lack of information, intergenerational trauma, and mistrust towards the mainstream health care system. Participants also identified a number of facilitators, such as respectful technologists, mobile clinics, and community-based sources of information. The findings highlight the importance of welcoming environment in the screening centers and patient education. The recommended course of action to increase mammography rates includes facilitating community educational workshops, organizing a community event with a mobile clinic, and establishing a community outreach program.
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