Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Lee Caplan


AbstractProstate cancer is a major public health problem, being the second leading cause of cancer deaths in U.S. men, but mortality can be prevented with the use of early detection strategies. African American men are more than twice as likely to die of prostate cancer as compared to Hispanic and White men. African immigrant men as compared to African American men born in the United States have higher mortality rates of prostate cancer due to not seeking preventive care. However, little is known about the factors that prevent African immigrant men living in the United States from seeking prostate cancer care. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore and understand the factors that prevent West African immigrant men in Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) of Texas from seeking medical care to help reduce prostate cancer mortality. Three research questions were developed to aid in understanding the factors that deter immigrant men from seeking prostate cancer care. The conceptual framework was based on the health belief model. The qualitative case study approach used semi structured, open-ended interviews with 15 immigrant men from West African countries aged 45 to 75. Data collected from these interviews were transcribed and analyzed thematically. Key findings from this study were that the participants had limited or no prior knowledge about prostate cancer, including its symptoms and treatment modalities; cultural beliefs and individual perceptions impacted the seeking of prostate cancer preventive care; and lack of health insurance and healthcare access presented barriers to seeking prostate cancer preventive care. This study contributes to positive social change by expanding cultural competency training of healthcare professionals and targeting immigrant communities with culturally appropriate health education.