Early Detection of Breast Cancer and Barrier to Screening Programmes amongst Thai Migrant Women in Australia: A Qualitative Study Academic Article uri icon


  • Background: Breast cancer screening programme is seen as the best practice to detect breast cancer early. However, there are circumstances that can prevent immigrant women from attending screening programmes. Little is known about Thai migrants and the barriers to their seeking breast cancer screening when living in a new homeland. This paper aimed to discuss the barriers to attending screening services among Thai migrant women living in Australia. Methods: This study adopted qualitative approach. Semi-structured in-depth interviewing and drawing methods were employed as data collection technique with 25 Thai migrant women who had not experienced breast cancer and were living in Metropolitan Melbourne, Australia. Thematic analysis method was employed to analyse the data. Results: Basing on the Health Belief Model, most Thai migrant women did not perceive that they were at risk of breast cancer. Despite seeing a breast cancer screening programme as important, the women rarely paid attention to breast cancer screening and used the mammography services provided by the Australian health care system. The barriers included the location of the services, unfamiliar patterns of health care provision, and language difficulties. Conclusions: There are many barriers that that they encountered in Australia that prevent Thai migrant women living in Melbourne Australia to pay attention to mammographic screening service provided by Australia health system. Our findings suggest that health services and interventions need to be designed more sensitive to the needs and socio-cultural context of migrant women in general and Thai migrant women in particular.

publication date

  • 2018