Exploring Asian Indian and Pakistani Views about Cancer and Participation in Cancer Research: An Assessment of a Culturally Tailored Educational Intervention

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This study was designed to deliver a culturally tailored educational intervention to improve knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions about cancer risk and preventive screening routines within the Asian Indian and Pakistani (AIP) population in the United States. Within this population, cancer is a leading cause of mortality yet screening rates remain low compared to other racial and ethnic groups. In addition, this sub-group has been largely underrepresented in clinical research. Twenty-nine participants were recruited to participate in a longitudinal survey that assessed changes in knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of cancer risk and screenings over three data collection points (baseline, endpoint, and follow-up) after the delivery of an educational intervention. Data was analyzed for means, frequencies, and differences using SPSS. Only those that completed surveys at all three-time points were included in analysis. Twenty-three participants, 12 female and 10 male participants of AIP descent, averaging 46 (±11.93) years of age, completed the study. While there was no significant improvement in overall knowledge, participants showed significant improvement in knowledge of when screening for breast cancer should begin (p<0.05). Knowledge regarding genetic mutations and genetic testing was also improved (both p<0.05). Lastly, participants were more likely to be willing to talk to their family members about cancer (p<0.05), participate in a medical research study (p<0.01), and undergo genetic testing (p<0.001). Although participants did not show a significant improvement in overall knowledge, the intervention improved knowledge in specific areas, increased in willingness to participate in research and communication about cancer, showing us that with engagement knowledge, attitudes, and risk perceptions can be changed using this type of intervention. Future studies should aim to target larger populations of AIPs with use of a control group to clearly see the impact of this kind of intervention within this sub group.