As part of our commitment to the Passionate Pursuit of Prevention campaign being undertaken by Healthy Hispanic Living and its partners, ThinkNow Research has been asking a nationally representative group of Latinas about issues related to breast cancer. Over the last couple months, we asked about awareness as well as current preventative behaviors. In this third installment, we decided to look at whether Latinas were more or less likely than other groups to plan to have breast screenings and mammograms over the next twelve months. We also wanted to delve deeper into the “whys” given by those who said they would and those who said they wouldn’t have screenings so we elicited open ended responses to let Latinas of all acculturation levels tell us what was motivating their behaviors. Here is an infographic highlighting some key information we found…

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First the good news, 51% of Latinas said they were planning on getting a mammogram in the next twelve months which was slightly higher than non-Hispanic Whites at 49% and much higher than Asians (44%). They were only second to the 58% of African American women who said they would be getting a mammogram. Among Latinas, the less acculturated were more likely to say they would be getting a mammogram, 62% vs. 46% for the more acculturated groups. Income was also a factor. 60% of Latinas with household incomes greater than $40K per year were planning on having a mammogram whereas only 47% of lower income Latinas were planning to do the same.

Once we established who was and who wasn’t planning on having a mammogram we followed-up with an open ended question and let the respondents tell us what was motivating them. One of the primary reasons given for having mammograms by Latinas was “Peace of Mind”. 28% of them were planning on having a mammogram for “Safety/Just to be sure”. This compares to just 18% of non-Hispanic Whites who gave that reason. Another factor was “Genetics/Family History”. 14% of Latinas mention this as a reason they will be getting a mammogram but only 6% of African Americans and 2% of Asians gave this as a reason.

However, the issue really started to get interesting when we asked those who were not planning on getting a mammogram to share with us their reasons and motivations. It turns out that Fear was one of the top reasons for not scheduling a mammogram. 15% of Latinas mentioned this as a reason not to get one which was higher than non-Hispanic Whites (13%) and African Americans (11%). Asians, it turns out, are the most fearful with 18% of them giving it as a reason for not scheduling a mammogram in the next 12 months. Another interesting finding related to fear is that, among Latinas, the highly-acculturated were most fearful (27%) and least acculturated were less fearful with only 6% of them giving this as a reason not to get a mammogram.
Two related reasons given for not scheduling a mammogram were cost and lack of insurance. While the Affordable Care Act appears to be increasing insurance coverage as a whole for Latinas there is one notable exception: The South. While lack of insurance was given as a reason not to get a mammogram by 18% of Latinas in the nation as a whole, it was given by 34% of Latinas in the South. It’s possible that Southern States, which were less likely to accept the Medicaid Expansion as part of the ACA, have some gaps in coverage or that more needs to be done in those states to inform Latinas about low-cost mammogram options.

Interestingly, Latinas with household incomes greater than $40K per year were more likely to say that “Lack of Time” was a factor for not scheduling a mammogram. Lack of time was cited as a reason not to get a mammogram by 15% of higher earners vs. 3% of those earning less.

One thing that became clear during the past three months of the Passionate Pursuit of Prevention campaign was the diversity of opinions and behaviors with regards to issues surrounding Breast Cancer. Latinas were not only different from other groups but also exhibited many differences within the Latina community. While micro-targeting messages is not always practical, it is important to take into consideration, for example, that highly-acculturated, English Speaking Latinas were four-and-a-half times more likely to list fear as a reason preventing them for getting a mammogram than their less-acculturated sisters. Understanding, these differences and how to address them will help us create messages that truly promote Healthy Hispanic Living.

This blog post was originally published on Healthy Hispanic Living, where you can view other information encouraging a healthy lifestyle for the U.S. Hispanic Community.

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