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Breast Health Seeking Behaviors In Countries With Varying Health Coverage

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There is an enormous unmet need for services, education, and outreach to improve women’s breast health. Healthcare systems and insurance systems vary widely around the world, and this may play

There is an enormous unmet need for services, education, and outreach to improve women’s breast health. Healthcare systems and insurance systems vary widely around the world, and this may play an important role in understanding variability in women’s breast health knowledge and behavior globally. The goal of this study is to determine how varying healthcare systems in three countries (Japan, Paraguay, US) affect a woman’s likelihood of seeing a physician in regard to their breasts. For example, Japan is a clear example of a region that provides universal health insurance to its citizens. The government takes responsibility in giving accessible and equitable healthcare to its entire population (Zhang & Oyama, 2016). On the other hand, a country such as Paraguay is composed of both public and private sectors. In order for citizens to gain insurance, one would have to either be formally employed or choose to pay out-of-pocket for hospital visits (“Paraguay”, 2017). A country such as the United States does not have universal health insurance. However, it does have a mix of public and private sectors, meaning there is little to no coverage for its citizens. To accommodate for this, the United States came up with the Affordable Care Act, which extends coverage to the uninsured. Although the United States might be a country that spends more on healthcare than any other nation, there are residents that still lack healthcare (De Lew, Greenberg & Kinchen, 1992). This study, then, compares women’s breast health knowledge and behavior in Japan, Paraguay, and the US. Other variables, which are also considered in this study, that might affect this include wealth level, education, having general awareness of breast cancer, having regular health checks, and having some breast education. Using statistical analysis of breast check rates of women in Japan, Paraguay, and the United States, this research found that women sampled in Asunción, Paraguay check their breasts more often than either women sampled from Scottsdale, U.S. or Osaka, Japan. It was also found that women sampled from Paraguay were more confident in detecting changes in their breast compared to women sampled from the Japan or the US. Finally, it was noted that women sampled from Japan were least likely to partake in seeing a doctor in concern of changes in their breasts compared to women sampled from the other two research locations. These findings have relevance for the implementation of advocacy and public education about breast health.

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  • 2020-05

Breast cancer care-seeking behavior in rural Bangladesh: the role of stigma, gender identity, and violence against women

Description

While women in higher income countries can expect to survive a diagnosis of breast cancer, women in lower- and middle-income countries such as Bangladesh have mortality rates near 50%, suggesting

While women in higher income countries can expect to survive a diagnosis of breast cancer, women in lower- and middle-income countries such as Bangladesh have mortality rates near 50%, suggesting that there are significant barriers to care seeking for breast problems. Given limited literature on barriers to care among native, rural South Asian populations, this study thus sought to understand 1) the impacts of breast problems on women and their families, including the extent of abuse among women with breast problems, and 2) the barriers and facilitators of care for women with breast problems in rural Bangladesh.

Sixty-three study participants (43 women and 20 men) were interviewed about their experiences. Interviewers elicited barriers to care, facilitators of care, and questions about the attitudes and behaviors of family and community members were in structured interviews.

The study found that breast problems and their treatment put significant resource and emotional strains on the family. Furthermore, over a third of women in this study reported abuse of some kind, with emotional abuse, neglect, and abandonment being the most frequently reported.

The study reinforced barriers to care identified in the literature for South Asian populations, but only a quarter of participants reported stigma of any kind. Lack of knowledge about breast cancer and inability to pay for care were the most frequently reported barriers, followed by access to care and fear of treatment. Facilitators of care among women who received a biopsy point to the importance of support by the husband and husband’s family, as well as the ability to identify economic support for and knowledge about care.

This study contributes to the understanding of two overarching themes: structural violence and the value of women, as well as how these themes influence poor outcomes for women with breast cancer in rural Bangladesh. Suggestions for future studies and short and long-term interventions to address study findings are offered.

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Date Created
  • 2016