An Investigation of Somali Women’s Beliefs, Practices, and Attitudes about Health, Health Promoting Behaviours and Cancer Prevention

S. A. Francis, F. M. Griffith, K. A. Leser


This pilot study examined Somali women's perception of health/access to care, examined their knowledge and attitudes about cancer prevention, and discussed strategies to improve service provision and education.

Using a multidisciplinary approach, twelve face-to-face interviews were conducted with Somali women ages 18 and older, residing in a mid-western city. Open coding was used to categorize and reflect the interview statements and to identify reoccurring themes.

Somali women are concerned about a variety of health issues and cited the role of culture and religion in developing prevention strategies.   Participants emphasized the use of religious leaders, health care advocates, oral traditions, and translators in providing culturally appropriate health care services.

Religion and culture play a prominent role in the Somali community and impact beliefs about health and wellness.  Health practitioners need to work closely with individuals and community leaders to tailor services that are culturally appropriate and accessible.






United States, Somali women, women’s health, and cancer prevention

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