Religion, Fatalism, and Cancer Control: A Qualitative Study among Hispanic Catholics
Published Date:Nov 2014
Source:Am J Health Behav. 38(6):839-849.
Aged, 80 And Over
Early Detection Of Cancer
Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
Pubmed Central ID:PMC4424042
Funding:R25 GM062454/GM/NIGMS NIH HHS/United States
R25GM062454/GM/NIGMS NIH HHS/United States
U48DP001946/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
U54 CA156732/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States
U54CA156732/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States
UL1 TR000040/TR/NCATS NIH HHS/United States
UL1TR000040/TR/NCATS NIH HHS/United States
To assess cancer perceptions among churchgoers and to examine the potential influence of fatalism and religious beliefs on the use of cancer screening tests.
Eight semi-structured focus groups were conducted among 67 Hispanic Catholics in Massachusetts.
In this sample, there were few references to fatalistic beliefs about cancer and nearly universal endorsement of the utility of cancer screening for cancer early detection. Most participants reported that their religious beliefs encouraged them to use health services, including cancer-screening tests. Although participants agreed that God plays an active role in health, they also affirmed the importance of self-agency in determining cancer outcomes.
Our findings challenge the assumption that fatalism is an overriding perspective among Hispanics. Catholic religious beliefs may contribute to positive health attitudes and behaviors.
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