Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Richard Palmer


Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States. Nonadherence to recommended screening guidelines and lack of screening contribute to late stage diagnosis and increased morbidity and mortality among racial and ethnic women in the United States. The purpose of this study was to assess breast cancer screening practices, knowledge, and beliefs among Cameroonian immigrant women who were 40 years and older living in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. region. This quantitative cross-sectional study was guided by the health belief model and used the revised version of Champion's health belief model scale. A convenience sample (N=267) responded to a 60-item self-administered online survey that assessed knowledge of breast cancer screening, demographic variables, constructs of the health belief model and adherence (defined as obtaining a mammogram within two years). Data analyses performed included descriptive analysis, correlational and multiple linear regression. Results of this study revealed that increased level of education and self-efficacy were associated with greater knowledge of the benefits of mammography. Additionally, women who had more self-efficacy in obtaining a mammogram, perceived less cultural barriers, lived longer in the United States, and who had a regular healthcare provider were more likely to be adherent. Study findings suggest that positive social change can be achieved by empowering women to take control of their health. Efforts promoting awareness of breast cancer screening guidelines and facilitating access to a regular healthcare provider could significantly increase uptake of screening services and lead to better health outcomes and reduced mortality.