Religion, fatalism, and cancer control

A qualitative study among Hispanic Catholics

Bryan Leyva, Jennifer D. Allen, Laura S. Tom, Hosffman Ospino, Maria Idali Torres, Ana Abraido-Lanza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives: To assess cancer perceptions among churchgoers and to examine the potential influence of fatalism and religious beliefs on the use of cancer screening tests. Methods: Eight semi-structured focus groups were conducted among 67 Hispanic Catholics in Massachusetts. Results: In this sample, there were few references to fatalistic beliefs about cancer and nearly universal endorsement of the utility of cancer screening for cancer early detection. Most participants reported that their religious beliefs encouraged them to use health services, including cancerscreening tests. Although participants agreed that God plays an active role in health, they also affirmed the importance of self-agency in determining cancer outcomes. Conclusions: Our findings challenge the assumption that fatalism is an overriding perspective among Hispanics. Catholic religious beliefs may contribute to positive health attitudes and behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)839-849
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Behavior
Volume38
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

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fatalism
Religion
Early Detection of Cancer
Hispanic Americans
cancer
Attitude to Health
Neoplasms
Focus Groups
Health Services
Health
health
god
health service

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Cancer fatalism
  • Cancer screening
  • Catholic
  • Fatalism
  • Hispanics
  • Latinos
  • Religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Religion, fatalism, and cancer control : A qualitative study among Hispanic Catholics. / Leyva, Bryan; Allen, Jennifer D.; Tom, Laura S.; Ospino, Hosffman; Torres, Maria Idali; Abraido-Lanza, Ana.

In: American Journal of Health Behavior, Vol. 38, No. 6, 01.01.2014, p. 839-849.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Leyva, Bryan ; Allen, Jennifer D. ; Tom, Laura S. ; Ospino, Hosffman ; Torres, Maria Idali ; Abraido-Lanza, Ana. / Religion, fatalism, and cancer control : A qualitative study among Hispanic Catholics. In: American Journal of Health Behavior. 2014 ; Vol. 38, No. 6. pp. 839-849.
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