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Asia Pac J Oncol Nurs. 2019 Sep 11;7(1):12-17. doi: 10.4103/apjon.apjon_36_19. eCollection 2020 Jan-Mar.

A Mixed-Method Study Examining Cancer Screening Uptake among South Asian Ethnic Minorities in Hong Kong.

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The Nethersole School of Nursing, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.



Utilization of cancer screening is an effective means of cancer prevention. However, South Asian ethnic minorities in Western countries are reported to face barriers in cancer screening utilization, resulting in a low screening uptake by these individuals. The purpose of this mixed-method study is to assess the uptake rate of cancer screening among South Asian ethnic minorities in the Chinese Society of Hong Kong and to examine the factors affecting their participation in cancer screening.


This study utilized a sequential mixed-method design, involving two phases. Following the implementation of a self-report survey among South Asian participants via an author-developed questionnaire with 1547 participants in Phase 1, a focus group interview was conducted with 34 participants in Phase 2 to assess the barriers to screening utilization. Convenience sampling was adopted to recruit participants at South Asian community centers in Phase 1, whereas purposive sampling was used for recruiting participants in Phase 2.


The findings revealed a low (<40%) uptake rate of cancer screening among the participants. Health illiteracy, language barrier, limited access to health information and screening services, and cultural issues were the major barriers to their cancer screening utilization.


Our findings provided valuable information for both policymakers and health professionals to better understand the needs of ethnic minorities in Hong Kong. As cancer death rates can be lowered by early detection and primary preventive measures, health professionals should focus on the development of culture-specific interventions. Similarly, training the community health workers can strengthen the primary care system in enhancing knowledge on cancer, its prevention, and access to cancer screening services among local ethnic minorities.


Cancer screening; South Asians; ethnic minority; screening uptake

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