Associations between Fatalistic Cancer Beliefs and Cancer-Screening Behaviors in Chinese American Immigrant Women

Xiaoyue Mona Guo*, Laura Tom, Ivy Leung, Catherine O’Brian, Katelyn Zumpf, Melissa Simon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Chinese Americans have among the lowest rates of up-to-date cancer screening in the United States. Fatalistic health beliefs are also common in this population and can lead to decreased healthcare utilization. We sought to understand how these fatalistic beliefs are associated with cancer screening behaviors in this underserved population. A cross-sectional survey was conducted with 732 Chinese women from the greater Chinatown area of Chicago, Illinois. Surveyed questions included sociodemographic information, self-reported healthcare utilization and cancer screening behaviors. The majority of respondents were older than 50, spoke Chinese, had less than a college education, public or no medical insurance, and an annual income < $20,000. Approximately 20% had never received Papanicolaou or mammogram screening. Fatalistic beliefs were common and associated with increased health-seeking behaviors and appropriate Pap and mammogram screening. In this cohort of Chinese American immigrant women in an urban Chinatown community, fatalistic cancer beliefs were prevalent and associated with increased health-seeking and positive cancer screening behaviors. This previously unreported relationship could be leveraged in improving health outcomes of an underserved population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)699-706
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Chinese Americans
  • Culture
  • Early detection of cancer
  • Health knowledge
  • Women’s health
  • attitudes
  • practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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