Understanding Cancer Screening Service Utilization by Somali Men in Minnesota

Barrett Sewali, Rebekah Pratt, Ekland Abdiwahab, Saeed Fahia, Kathleen Thiede Call, Kolawole S. Okuyemi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This study examined factors that influence use of cancer screening by Somali men residing in Minnesota, USA. To better understand why recent immigrants are disproportionately less likely to use screening services, we used the health belief model to explore knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes surrounding cancer screening. We conducted a qualitative study comprised of 20 key informant interviews with Somali community leaders and 8 focus groups with Somali men (n = 44). Somali men commonly believe they are protected from cancer by religious beliefs. This belief, along with a lack of knowledge about screening, increased the likelihood to refrain from screening. Identifying the association between religion and health behaviors may lead to more targeted interventions to address existing disparities in cancer screening in the growing US immigrant population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)773-780
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 30 2015


  • Cancer
  • Health belief model
  • Qualitative
  • Screening
  • Somali men

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