Using a mixed design study to develop a breast screening intervention among Chinese women in the UK

  • Ying Zhang

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Chinese women living in the UK. However the literature suggests that Chinese women are less likely to attend breast screening than white British women. No studies have been conducted to explore reasons for low attendance among this specific population. The purpose of this thesis was to understand the psycho-social factors related to breast cancer prevention and screening among Chinese women in the UK, and then to inform a breast screening intervention design.
Three studies were conducted. The first was a systematic review of interventions to increase breast screening among Chinese women living in Western countries. The second and third studies used focus groups to explore Chinese women’s beliefs about breast cancer prevention and screening practices among older and younger generations. Finally, Intervention Mapping was used to synthesise the findings of the focus groups with those of the systematic review to design an empirical and theoretical evidence based breast screening intervention directed at Chinese women who are non-adherent to the NHS Breast Screening Programme.
The qualitative findings revealed that older participants held a more holistic view of health maintenance, and had less knowledge about breast cancer and its causes than younger participants. They showed positive attitudes to breast screening and most had responded to receiving a mammography invitation. Language was a key barrier to older participants using medical care and obtaining health-related information. Younger participants expressed high dissatisfaction with health care in UK and showed a strong ‘neo-fatalistic’ view of breast cancer prevention, believing the main cause of breast cancer to be genetic predisposition. The synthesis of findings suggest that healthcare providers need to take Chinese cultural and language concerns, but also the differences between generations, into account when designing and implementing breast screening services and educational programmes which target Chinese women.
Date of Award6 Jul 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aston University
SupervisorHelen M Pattison (Supervisor)


  • Chinese-British women
  • breast health
  • mammography screening
  • intervention mapping

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