OBJECTIVE: Breast cancer incidence is rising among Pakistani women in the United Kingdom. However, uptake of breast screening remains low. This study aimed to improve access to breast screening for British-Pakistani women by exploring their knowledge of breast cancer and the role of primary care and community networks to support screening access amongst British-Pakistani women.
METHODS: We undertook a secondary qualitative analysis of 18 semi-structured interviews with British-Pakistani women from East Lancashire in the United Kingdom. Anonymized transcripts of the interviews were used for a thematic analysis.
RESULTS: Three themes were identified in the interviewees' responses: (i) 'Women's knowledge of breasts and breast cancer', which described how a cultural taboo exists around Pakistani women's bodies and around breast cancer; (ii) 'Role of primary care', which detailed how General Practitioners can support informed decisions and offer a trusted and valued information source; (iii) 'Community engagement', which described the potential to disseminate breast-screening information through the whole community, including primary care providers, all family members and mosques.
CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis suggested three main targets for future interventions to improve access to breast screening for British-Pakistani women: (i) co-produced strategies to increase knowledge of breasts and breast screening; (ii) greater collaboration with local General Practitioners to support women to make informed choices about screening; and (iii) community engagement involving General Practitioners and community leaders, to inform everyone - not just screening-age women - about breast cancer and screening.
- Breast screening
- ethnic minorities
- screening access