Breast cancer screening and migrants: exploring targeted messages for Moroccan migrant women in Brussels

Wanda Van Hemelrijck, L Suzanne Suggs, Alessandra A. Grossi, Peter Schröder-Bäck, Katarzyna Czabanowska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objectives: This study explored views of Moroccan migrant women
on barriers and facilitators to the organized breast cancer screening
program in Brussels (Belgium), and the potential of targeted printed
invitations to increase this population’s attendance to the program.
Methods: We conducted one expert interview with the breast cancer
screening program coordinator on current practices and challenges
with regards to inviting Moroccan migrant women in Brussels for
screening. Secondly, we held focus groups with Moroccan women
aged 26–66. Sessions focused on perspectives on breast cancer
screening and the existing generic program invitations. Directed
content analysis of transcripts was based on the Health Belief Model.
Alternative communication packages were developed based on
barriers and suggestions from the focus groups. A second round of
focus groups looked at the alternative communication packages and
their potential to encourage Moroccan migrant women in Brussels
to participate in the organized breast cancer screening program.
Results: Alternative packages were appreciated by some, but a
number of adjustments did not catch participants’ attention. Printed
communication delivered by post does not appear to be the
preferred means of communication to encourage breast cancer
screening for Moroccan migrant women in Brussels, nor does it seem
appropriate to address the barriers to screening found in this study.
Conclusions: The benefit of targeted postal invitation packages for
Moroccan migrant women in Brussels seems limited for a variety of
reasons. For future research, a large-scale study analyzing the topic
in a cross-cultural perspective is warranted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)927-944
Number of pages18
JournalEthnicity & Health
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Breast cancer screening
  • content analysis
  • health behavior
  • health communication
  • minority health
  • qualitative research

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