Adapting a Cancer Screening Education Program for Native American Women with Disabilities

Julie S. Armin, Heather J. Williamson, Andria Begay, Jennifer Etcitty, Agnes Attakai, Kim Russell, Julie A. Baldwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Like other minoritized groups, people with disabilities experience lack of access to health care. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), which are lifelong disabilities diagnosed in childhood requiring varying levels of support for completing daily activities, are less likely to receive preventive health care such as cancer screening. Furthermore, Native American women are less likely than White women to receive cancer screenings. In this qualitative research with Native American women with IDD, their caregivers, healthcare and service providers, and community leaders, we asked, “What are the influences on breast and cervical cancer screening for Native American women with IDD?” with the goal of adapting an existing cancer screening education program. Semi-structured in-depth interviews (N = 48) were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim for analysis. Two coders used a constant comparative method to code and revise the a priori codebook with subthemes and new codes. Results highlighted individual, interpersonal, and community/institutional influences on screening, emphasizing the individual effects of social inequity on this population, the importance of ableist bias in recommending cancer screenings, and opportunities to integrate traditional ways of knowing with allopathic medicine. Results of this work were used to adapt a cancer screening education program for Native American women with IDD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9280
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Native American health
  • breast cancer
  • cancer disparities
  • cancer education
  • cancer screenings
  • cervical cancer
  • disability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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