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P12 Do We Even Have Cancer: Cultural Beliefs About Health and Cancer Among Asian Indians

      Background

      Asian Indians have been underrepresented in studies investigating knowledge and understanding of health and cancer, despite it being the second leading cause of mortality among this population. There is a paucity of data regarding the cultural perceptions of health and cancer in this population.

      Objective

      To gain an understanding of the cultural perceptions of health and cancer among Asian-Indian adults in an urban setting.

      Study Design, Setting, Participants

      Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with Asian-Indian adults (n = 20), 25 years and older. Participants had no prior diagnosis of cancer.

      Measurable Outcome/Analysis

      Individual interviews were conducted by a trained interviewer on Zoom®. Verbatim transcripts were cross-checked for consistency prior to analysis. Transcript analysis was performed by 2 independent coders after training for qualitative analysis. Content analysis was used to identify themes using a grounded theory approach.

      Results

      Participants believed good health was associated with ability to perform daily activities, regular exercise and eating well. Lifestyle behaviors were considered important to health status. Healthy eating was stressed, which included fresh foods, traditional Indian foods, and a preference for vegetarian foods. Awareness of prevalence and implications related to cancer as it impacts the Asian-Indian community. There was a general lack of knowledge around the aspects for cancer prevention, with a request for more targeted information.

      Conclusion and Implications

      Findings from this study underscore a gap in awareness of cancer risk among the Asian Indian community. More research is needed at a nation-wide level to corroborate these findings. Because of the general lack of knowledge and understanding of cancer, disseminating information about cancer risk and prevention among the Asian Indian community is important to address this disparity in health and disease.
      Funding School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Office of Research's Discretionary Funding at the Ohio State University.

      Appendix. Supplementary data