Background: Attention to cultural beliefs and values is a critical component of culturally competent cancer care for prevention, treatment, and control among all individuals. Yet, culturally tailored interventions have only been developed for racial and ethnic minorities. This is because cultural beliefs and values for cancer behavioral outcomes have only been ascribed to and evaluated in racial and ethnic groups.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate racial and ethnic differences in cultural beliefs and values related to religiosity, collectivism, individualism, and past and present temporal orientation for cancer prevention and control (CPC) in a national random sample of African Americans, whites, and Hispanic adults (n=1699). Respondents completed the Multi-Dimensional Cultural Values Assessment Tool (MCVAT) to assess cultural beliefs and values for CPC.

Results: There were significant racial/ethnic differences only in religious beliefs and values for CPC. Compared to whites, African Americans (Coefficient=3.75, p=0.001) and Hispanic (Coefficient=2.42, p=0.001) reported significantly greater religiosity. In addition, religious values were higher among respondents who were female (Coefficient=1.10, p=0.01), those who were high school graduates or had less education (Coefficient=-1.87, p=0.001), and respondents who had incomes less than $50,000 (Coefficient=-2.23, p=0.001). Education had a similar association with collectivist values (Coefficient=-1.01, p=0.01), but only the comparison of Hispanics versus whites had a significant association with these values (oefficient=0.76, p=0.04), individualistic values for CPC (Coefficient=1.04, p=0.001), and past (OR=1.85, 95% CI=1.28, 2.68, p=0.001) and present temporal orientation (OR=1.72, 95% CI=1.21, 2.44, p=0.003).

Conclusions: With the exception of religiosity, there are few differences in cultural beliefs and values for CPC between African Americans, whites, and Hispanics. Endorsement of cultural beliefs and values should not be assumed based on racial and ethnic group membership. Rather, cultural beliefs and values for CPC should be evaluated individually among patients and at-risk groups to provide culturally competent cancer care.

Citation Format: Melanie Jefferson, Jodie Riley, Lashanta Rice, Chanita Hughes-Halbert. Racial differences in cultural values for cancer prevention and control: Fact or fiction. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Seventh AACR Conference on The Science of Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved; Nov 9-12, 2014; San Antonio, TX. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2015;24(10 Suppl):Abstract nr A55.