Exploring the influence of demographic factors on participation of Latinas in the Salud San Antonio! program

Delana M Gonzales, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Background: Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women of all racial and ethnic backgrounds. Purpose: This secondary data study explored demographic characteristics and degree of breast cancer related self-efficacy, perceived susceptibility, and perceived benefits of Latinas eligible for a mammogram screening program. Methods: Descriptive statistics were used to report socio-demographic characteristics and four Health Belief Model constructs; self-efficacy; perceived severity; and perceived benefit. Chi-square statistics and Fisher's exact tests were utilized to examine differences between the two groups in various categorical variables. Results: Level of educational attainment was the only statistically significant finding between women who attended the session and those who did not (***). Of the women who attended an educational session, the majority (58.6%) responded positively to the statement regarding self-efficacy; and to the statement on perceived severity (75.2%); as well as the two statements on perceived benefit (81.1%; 85.4%). Discussion: The majority of both women who attended and women who did not, reported having a low income and spoke and read only or mostly Spanish (57.6%; 63.2%). This presents the question of whether the women in this sample experience the same barriers in obtaining cancer screenings. Findings regarding attitudes and beliefs about the perceived severity and benefits were found to be consistent with existing literature. However, responses regarding self-efficacy were somewhat better than those found in the literature (58.6% vs 46.3%). Conclusion: Research continues to show that breast cancer disparities impact individuals within marginalized groups. Efforts to improve early detection rates have the potential to reduce the number of Latina women diagnosed at later, more advanced stages of the disease. Addressing these disparities in breast cancer diagnosis may positively affect how those most vulnerable to breast cancer perceive the disease in the future.

Subject Area

Health education

Recommended Citation

Gonzales, Delana M, "Exploring the influence of demographic factors on participation of Latinas in the Salud San Antonio! program" (2014). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1566323.