Traditional-Westernizing continuum of change in screening behaviors: Comparison between Arab women in Israel and the West Bank

Faisal Azaiza, Miri Cohen, Francoise Daoud, Mriam Awad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Health perceptions are changing, but the pace of change varies across societies, exercising different effects on women's screening behaviors. Our aim is to assess the rate of mammography and clinical breast examination (CBE) attendance in younger and older Arab women in Israel and in the West Bank, and the effect of health beliefs on the screening behaviors. A random sample of 697 Arab women, 300 from Israel and 397 from the West Bank, aged 30-65 years, answered questionnaires on screening behaviors, the Arab culture-specific barriers, fatalism, worry, and health beliefs. The participation rate was 93.5% in Israel and 98.3% in the West Bank. Higher fatalistic perceptions, traditional beliefs, barriers to bodily exposure, and social, environmental, and personal barriers to screening were reported by women from the West Bank compared to Arab women in Israel and by older women compared to the younger women. Adjusted lower likelihood of attending screening was predicted by group (AOR 3.55, 95% CI 1.25-10.11 for mammography and AOR 2.36, 95% CI 1.19-3.65 for CBE), higher fatalism (AOR 0.52, 95% CI 0.30-76 for mammography and AOR 0.68, 95% CI 0.54-92 for CBE), more traditional beliefs (AOR 0.61, 95% CI 0.48-0.80 for mammography and AOR 0.51, 95% CI 0.39-0.68 for CBE), and higher barriers to self-exposure (AOR 0.69, 95% CI 0.48-0.83 for mammography and AOR 0.76, 95% CI 0.62-0.95 for CBE), higher perceived personal barriers (AOR 0.36, 95% CI 0.12-1.08 for mammography and AOR 0.77, 95% CI 0.60-0.98 for CBE), and lower perceived benefits (AOR 1.98, 95% CI 1.17-3.34 for mammography and AOR 1.39, 95% CI 1.06-1.81 for CBE). Also, adjusted lower likelihood of CBE attendance was predicted by younger age, higher religiosity, and higher social barriers. Differences in screening behaviors of younger and older Arab women from the West Bank and from Israel represent a traditional-westernizing continuum of change, but are also related to the social and situational context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-227
Number of pages9
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • Clinical breast examination
  • Health beliefs
  • Mammography
  • Traditional barriers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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