Effect of Cultural, Folk, and Religious Beliefs and Practices on Delays in Diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer in African American Women.

Authors:
Patricia G Moorman
Patricia G Moorman
Duke University Medical Center
Durham | United States
Frances Wang
Frances Wang
Duke University Medical Center
United States
Elisa V Bandera
Elisa V Bandera
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
New Brunswick | United States
Melissa Bondy
Melissa Bondy
The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Michele L Cote
Michele L Cote
Wayne State University School of Medicine

J Womens Health (Larchmt) 2019 Apr 27;28(4):444-451. Epub 2018 Nov 27.

13 Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Background: Certain cultural, folk, and religious beliefs that are more common among African Americans (AAs) have been associated with later-stage breast cancer. It is unknown if these beliefs are similarly associated with delays in diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

Methods: Data from a multicenter case-control study of ovarian cancer in AA women were used to examine associations between cultural/folk beliefs and religious practices and stage at diagnosis and symptom duration before diagnosis. Associations between cultural/folk beliefs or religious practices and stage at diagnosis were assessed with logistic regression analyses, and associations with symptom duration with linear regression analyses.

Results: Agreement with several of the cultural/folk belief statements was high (e.g., 40% agreed that "if a person prays about cancer, God will heal it without medical treatments"), and ∼90% of women expressed moderate to high levels of religiosity/spirituality. Higher levels of religiosity/spirituality were associated with a twofold increase in the odds of stage III-IV ovarian cancer, whereas agreement with the cultural/folk belief statements was not associated with stage. Symptom duration before diagnosis was not consistently associated with cultural/folk beliefs or religiosity/spirituality.

Conclusions: Women who reported stronger religious beliefs or practices had increased odds of higher stage ovarian cancer. Inaccurate cultural/folk beliefs about cancer treament were not associated with stage; however, these beliefs were highly prevalent in our population and could impact patient treatment decisions. Our findings suggest opportunities for health education interventions, especially working with churches, and improved doctor-patient communication.

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Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/jwh.2018.7031DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6482889PMC
April 2019
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