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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Cancer Information Seeking Behaviors of Korean American Women: A Mixed-Methods Study Using Surveys and Focus Group Interviews

  • Author(s): Oh, KM
  • Jun, J
  • Zhao, X
  • Kreps, GL
  • Lee, EE
  • et al.

2015 Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC Despite the high risk of cancer to the population, Korean Americans are known to have lower knowledge about cancer related information and a lower level of adherence to cancer prevention guidelines. This indicates the necessity of cancer interventions targeting the Korean American population. To reach this population effectively, it is imperative to understand Korean Americans’ cancer information seeking behaviors. This study (a) identified cancer information sources that are trusted and used by Korean American women and (b) examined how general media exposure and trust in cancer information sources are related to the use of these sources. It also (c) explored perceived usefulness and limitations of cancer information sources. A mixed methods study using seven focus group interviews with 34 Korean American women and surveys with 152 Korean American women was conducted in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area from 2011 to 2012. The results indicate that Korean American women viewed health care professionals as the most trusted cancer information source but used the Internet and Korean ethnic media more often for cancer information seeking because of language, cultural, and economic barriers. Korean American women were most likely to obtain cancer information from media they used frequently for general purposes. Correlations between usage frequency and trust in doctor/health providers and the Internet as cancer information sources were negligible. When seeking cancer information, important factors for Korean American women were accessibility, affordability, and language proficiency, cultural sensitivity, meeting immediate needs, understandability, convenience, and reliability of cancer information sources. Findings from this study support developing interventions using Korean language media, including print, television and the Internet for health promotion and cancer prevention targeting Korean American women.

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