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" Assessing, Developing and Piloting Information Support Tools to Increase Knowledge, Satisfaction and Awareness of Cancer, Screening and Treatment among the Muslim Communities."


There is a considerable knowledge gap in ethnic minority communities living in UK regarding cancer in general and cancer screening in particular (Szczepura et al. 2003; Thomas et al. 2005; Robb et al. 2010; Iqbal et al. 2012). Earlier research on cancer screening uptakes (Szczepura et al. 2008) has shown that the uptake of both breast and bowel cancer screening in South Asian (SA) community is much lower than the general population. Amongst Muslim community the odds of taking up the breast screening was two and half times lower and for bowel screening four times lower than the white population. Furthermore, the breast and cervical cancer screening programmes are running over two decades and the awareness of such programmes is found to be significantly lower among ethnic minority populations (Robb et al. 2010). 


Aims and Objectives:

1. To Identify knowledge gaps in cancer risks and treatment in Muslim ethnic minority community originating from three broad ethnic and linguistic regions of the world (a. South Asians-Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian Gujarati, Afghanis, b. Arabic Speaking-Yemini, Libyans, Moroccans, Kurdish/Iraqi, c. Africans - Somalis, Nigerians, Sudanese, Ethiopian/Eritreans).

2.  To develop and pilot knowledge sharing materials on cancer risks, screenings and treatment for the Muslim communities. The objectives are: (a) to develop effective health promotion materials on cancer after mapping their knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and practices to cancer and its treatment services (based on the focus groups discussions conducted in Manchester as well as from existing evidence / specific literature on the theme for Muslim communities); (b) to pilot health promotion educational materials for cancer screening/treatment/support within Muslim communities.

3. To develop and pilot one intervention (a multilingual recorded and audio- video playback information device) for SA women presenting for breast screening to mobile screening vans and  the static breast unit within Greater Manchester Breast Screening Service.

4. To identify and explore future collaborations and Knowledge Tools / research opportunities.



Stage 1 (S1): A systematic literature search will be undertaken to identify the needs and knowledge gaps of the ethnic minority groups (identified in Aim 1) with regards to specific cancers and including all those cancers included in the current NHS national screening programmes. The literature search will also aim to identify studies on underlying barriers and interventions used to overcome those barriers. Seven focus group discussions (FGD)(from groups identified in Aim 1 with two for each subgroup with men and women separately; plus one focus group with faith leaders, Imams and Islamic scholars) will be undertaken to explore common knowledge gaps and shared attitudes across cultural believes regarding accessing cancer services.


Stage 2 (S2): After receiving interim results from Stage 1, a specialist Muslim female health nurse investigator will be employed to map and address and adapt the cultural needs of the Muslim women in knowledge share and accessing oncology services. She will also look into the proper usage of terms, words and languages in their cultural settings. All the pilot health promotion materials will be translated in three prominent languages (Urdu, Arabic and Somali) and will be presented and discussed in three separate community meetings representing men and women from young as well as middle age groups. Their feedback will be recorded and analysed using the framework approach (Spencer and Richie 2006) to establish their preference of the medium of such awareness materials (paper, audio or video).


Stage 3 (S3): Piloting of one screening intervention. A multilingual handheld audio-video playback device with pre-recorded breast screening information translated in Urdu, Gujarati, Bangla, Punjabi and English with colour coded will be developed and piloted. Patients will be able to choose the language they can understand the best before undergoing their breast screening. The SA nurse researcher will be present at the mobile screening van to attend targeted screening sessions and in the static breast unit to assist women as necessary to use the device.


Research Partners:

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