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                            Walden University
Perceptions and Behaviors of Caribbean and South American Women of Color Living in the United States Towards Breast Cancer
	Bernadette Serena Loncke
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Page 1

Walden University

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies
Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies



Perceptions and Behaviors of Caribbean and South
American Women of Color Living in the United
States Towards Breast Cancer
Bernadette Serena Loncke
Walden University

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Page 2

Walden University

College of Health Sciences

This is to certify that the doctoral dissertation by

Bernadette Loncke

has been found to be complete and satisfactory in all respects,

and that any and all revisions required by

the review committee have been made.

Review Committee

Dr. Bernice Kennedy, Committee Chairperson, Public Health Faculty

Dr. Frazier Beatty, Committee Member, Public Health Faculty

Dr. Suzanne Richins, University Reviewer, Public Health Faculty

Chief Academic Officer

Eric Riedel, Ph.D.

Walden University


Page 66


public support for research, and promote moral and social values (Resnik, 2011). I

ensured that the risks and benefits of being in the study, monitoring of data collection,

and protection of privacy and confidentiality were clearly stated and understood by the

participants. I also advised them that they had the right to withdraw from the study at any

time (Resnik, 2011).

I will continue to store the data on a password-protected computer in a locked

office for 5 years, as required by the university, before I destroy them. All data are stored

in NVivo v.10, and backup files of all data, including interview transcriptions, are saved

in a single folder on a personal computer and an external hard drive (Van den Eynden &

Chatsiou, 2011). Only I have access to the data, and I control who can view them.


I chose a phenomenological method of inquiry for this study because it gave the

participants the opportunity to share with me their perceptions, beliefs, knowledge,

awareness, behaviors, and lived experiences toward breast cancer. The sample comprised

20 women of color between the ages of 35 and 69 years who were residing in Clayton,

DeKalb, and Fulton Counties in Atlanta, Georgia, at the time of the study. I collected the

data via interviews. I analyzed the data to identify themes emerging from their responses

to the interview questions. In Chapter 4, I describe the participants, discuss the themes,

and present the results. In Chapter 5, I interpret the results, draw conclusions, and offer

suggestions for further research.

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Chapter 4: Results

This chapter presents the findings based upon the responses to 34 in-depth

interview questions from 20 first-generation South American and Caribbean women of

color living in the United States regarding their perceptions and behaviors toward breast

cancer. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions and behaviors related to

the women’s breast cancer awareness, screening, treatment, and follow-up care. I also

examined the participants’ individual characteristics and their relationships with health

care providers and health services, and the factors motivating them to seek breast health

care and follow-up treatment. Included in the chapter are descriptions of the research

instrument, setting, and recruitment protocols; participant profiles; explanations of the

data collection, storage, and analysis; and discussions of the data verification, themes,

and discrepant findings. Interpretation of the data follows in Chapter 5.

I used a phenomenological research design because it allowed me to look at the

sample as representative of the target population as a whole to determine how they

experienced the phenomenon of breast cancer and what they had in common (Creswell,

2007). Included in the chapter are profiles of the 20 participants. I collected the

qualitative data by conducting in-depth telephone interviews with the participants in June,

July, August, and September 2015. As mentioned previously, participants who were not

available for the telephone interviews were allowed to write their responses to the

interview questions and submit them to me.

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26. If you were to receive a diagnosis of breast cancer, can you tell me what that would
mean to you?


Would you receive treatment if advised to?

Why or why not?

Would you involve your family and close friends in your decision making?

What part would religion play in your decision making-process?

Can you tell me more about that?

27. Would receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer change the relationship between you
and your family?


What do you think it would be like for your family hearing of your diagnosis?

Can you tell me more?

How would you describe your family?

What is your role in the family?

28. What about your friends and co-workers, would you tell them of your diagnosis?


Why would you tell or not tell them?

Can you tell me more about that?

Would you worry about finances?

29. Do you believe that your culture/ethnicity play a role in your health care decisions?

Can you please explain in more details about your culture, and beliefs?

30. How has being Caribbean/South American influenced your decision regarding asking
or not asking for support or help from family members or friends?


I am not sure I understand ….., would you explain that for me?

Why do you think so?

How would it feel asking for help?

What kind of help do you believe you will need?

31. What coping strategies do you use during stressful situation, such as receiving
unfavorable health news?

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Why use this method?

What do you mean by …?

Has it been successful for you?

Can you tell me more please?

32. How does living in the US versus living in the Caribbean or South America affect
your experience of receiving screening, diagnosis and treatment of cancer emotionally,

spiritually, socially and also in receiving care and support?


What do you mean when you say …..?

Can you please elaborate?

How did that affect you?

33. Now, is there anything else you would like to talk about that we have not covered or
you think is important for me to know?

34. Can you tell me what it has been like for you to talk to me about breast cancer and
your experiences?

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