Breast cancer (BC) is the most common cancer in women in the United States as well as in Arab countries. Yet, Arab women have lower mammography rates than women of other ethnicities. This is due to an array of barriers, including but not limited to lack of knowledge, cultural and linguistic barriers, and fear of discrimination. Moreover, Arab immigrants have been underserved by research and outreach efforts primarily because many Arabs are considered of the White (Caucasian) race. Given that there is a large Arab population in our catchment area (Philadelphia, PA) we customized a breast cancer education program specifically for Arab Muslim women. In the first phase of the project, 10 Arab Muslim women (ages 35 and older) living in Philadelphia were recruited to provide formative feedback regarding the appropriateness and clarity of the presentation. Participants were encouraged to communicate their thoughts, preferences, concerns, and questions surrounding breast health. Even though most participants indicated that they are insured, can find health information easily, and can understand what health professionals say, their discussion conveyed a strong need for breast health education in this community. After analyzing their input, we refined the presentation and evaluated its effectiveness in a second group of Arab Muslim women (n = 21). Knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs surrounding BC were captured at the beginning of the workshop and at the end using a pre/post-test. A paired t-test showed a significant increase in BC knowledge scores after the presentation (93.5%, SD = 8.46) than before the presentation (79.22%, SD = 17.37); t (20) = -4.088, p = 0.001. In addition, there was an improvement in attitudes and intent regarding self-awareness of breast health and mammography screening. To further augment the educational program, an Arab plain-language brochure was developed and reviewed with the participants. Results from Phase I and II will be reviewed during the session, including additional questions asked by participants during the formative evaluation process. The findings from this effort further indicate the need to expand education (and screening) services to this community.
Citation Format: Evelyn T. Gonzalez, Alia Salam. Adapting a breast cancer education program to reach Arab Muslim women [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Tenth AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved; 2017 Sep 25-28; Atlanta, GA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2018;27(7 Suppl):Abstract nr C06.