Date of Conferral





Public Health


Diane Cortner


Breast cancer is a serious illness that often has fatal consequences. Adherence to the recommendations for breast cancer surveillance is poorly practiced among African American women. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to seek individual professed barriers to breast cancer screening among African American women to better understand why breast cancer continues to be one of the principal basis of mortality among African American women. The theoretical framework for this study was the behavioral model of health services use. Purposeful selection was used to invite 14 African American women to participate in the in-depth interview process. Interview data were transcribed and then coded for recurring themes and meaning. The findings of this study demonstrate that these women's perceived barriers to breast cancer screening were lack of information, a belief that genetics dictates who gets breast cancer, embarrassment, a norm of people not going for health checkups, the procedure of breast cancer screening, and fear. Participants noted that the improved method of mammography may promote utilization within the population. Breast cancer disparities among African American women may decline if healthcare providers promote awareness of the availability and accessibility of breast cancer prevention resources and if African American women understand the barriers to breast cancer prevention and change their own screening practices.