We carry out research that aims to understand the health needs of the African Caribbean community. We use qualitative research to explore specific health and well-being issues utilising focus groups, one-to-one interviews and surveys.
Here’s an example of our work:
An Exploration of Black British Women’s Lay Beliefs About Breast Cancer and Their Help Seeking Behaviour
This study explored the beliefs that black women hold about breast cancer and if those beliefs affect whether they chose to visit their doctor or not.
We found that most participants had a negative, fatalistic view of breast cancer. Some did view breast cancer positively, believing that it is a disease that can be overcome successfully. When it came to awareness of symptoms, participants were fully aware that a breast lump is a symptom of breast cancer but were unaware of the other symptoms.
Overall, when it comes to seeking help, the study suggests that black women are quite proactive and there would be no delay in visiting their GP (doctor) if they noticed a breast lump; delays in visiting a GP could occur if women experience other symptoms as people are less aware of these symptoms.
We found that the following factors could delay help seeking: other priorities such as family or work commitments; language barriers; lack of access to information; age (older people are more likely to delay visiting their GP); difficulty getting appointments; cultural insensitivities of the healthcare system, inaction by GPs; and a lengthy referral process.
You can read the report here: Black_Women_Breast_Cancer_Help_Seeking_2011