Breast cancer screening knowledge and perceived health beliefs among immigrant women in Korea

Jiyoung Kim, Se Kyung Lee, Jeonghui Lee, Min Young Choi, Seung Pil Jung, Min Kook Kim, Sangmin Kim, Seok Jin Nam, Jeong Eon Lee, Won Ho Kil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Recently, through international marriage, immigrant women have rapidly increased throughout Korea. This study was performed to identify health beliefs and practices related to breast cancer screening in immigrant women in Korea. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out between March and July 2012, and study population included immigrant females from six other Asian countries (Cambodia, China, Japan, Mongolia, Vietnam, and the Philippines). We surveyed 197 women and categorized them into four groups according to home countries. The questionnaire consisted of 55 items, including demographic and socioeconomic factors, breast cancer-related knowledge regarding risk factors and symptoms, beliefs and attitudes towards health and breast cancer, perceived susceptibility, barriers, and benefits of screening. Results: Japanese participants were significantly older and had resided in Korea for more years than other country-of-origin groups (all p<0.001), and showed higher screening rates without statistical significance (p=0.392). In multivariate analysis, country of origin showed a significant correlation with knowledge (p=0.001), positive beliefs (p=0.002), and perceived benefits (p=0.025) of breast cancer screening. The group with the lowest household income showed a significantly lower score of perceived benefits (p=0.022). Through analysis to identify factors affecting participation in screening mammography, we found that education level (p=0.009), occupation status (p=0.006), and Korean language fluency (p=0.002) were independent predictors for screening behavior. Conclusion: This study identified conditions related to breast cancer screening knowledge, perception, and behavior of immigrant women in Korea. The results reflect the need for increased social aids to remove barriers to medical services and more educational programs to facilitate higher rates of screening.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-286
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Breast Cancer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Sept 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast neoplasms
  • Emigrants and immigrants
  • Health behavior
  • Health knowledge
  • Mass screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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