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Health Educ Behav. 2006 Oct;33(5):604-24. Epub 2006 Aug 21.

Health behaviors and breast cancer: experiences of urban African American women.

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Department of Medicine, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.


Breast-cancer survival rates are lower among African American women compared to White women. Obesity may contribute to this disparity. More than 77% of African American women are overweight or obese. Adopting health behaviors that promote a healthy weight status may be beneficial because obesity increases risk for recurrence. Studies among White breast-cancer survivors indicate that many make health behavior changes after diagnosis. This cross-sectional pilot study collected quantitative and qualitative data on the attitudes, beliefs, barriers, and facilitators related to health behavior changes in 27 overweight/obese African American breast-cancer survivors. Results indicated that most participants reported making dietary changes since their diagnosis, and some had increased their physical activity. Focus groups provided rich details on the barriers and facilitators for behavior change. These results begin to address the significant gap in our knowledge of African American breast-cancer survivors' health behaviors and underscore the need for culturally competent health behavior interventions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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