The evolution of a breast health program for Plains Indian women.
Brant JM, Fallsdown D, Iverson ML.
Saint Vincent Hospital and Health Center, Billings, MT, USA.
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES: To discuss the development and implementation of a culturally sensitive breast cancer outreach program focusing on early detection, screening, and education for Plains Indian women living in Montana and northern Wyoming.
DATA SOURCES: Professional journals, government reports, culturally sensitive materials, and field experience.
DATA SYNTHESIS: Perceptions about cancer, the prevalence of poverty and alcoholism, the traditional role of the Native American woman, and rural living influence breast health and breast cancer education for Plains Indian women.
An outreach program was developed specifically for this population and included individualized education, distribution of culturally sensitive materials, culturally sensitive professional education, and train-the-trainer seminars.
CONCLUSIONS: After years of working with Native American women, the percentages of mammograms and clinical breast examinations increased by more than 100%.
IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE: Nurses can bridge the cultural gap and work effectively with Native American women by building trust and being sensitive to cultural customs and related healthcare behaviors.
Furthermore, this program provides a model that nurses can use to develop culturally sensitive breast health programs.
Oncol Nurs Forum. 1999 May;26(4):731-9.
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