Exploring Asian Indian views about cancer and participation in cancer research: an evaluation of a culturally tailored educational intervention

  • Veda N. GiriEmail author
  • Preethi Selvan
  • Salini Mohanty
  • Ray Lum
  • Samantha Serrao
  • Amy E. Leader
Original Article


Asian Indians (AIs) are a growing population in the United States (US) with increased cancer incidence and mortality. However, screening rates among this population are low, and the population has been underrepresented in clinical research. This pilot study aims to address gaps in the literature in order to understand if a culturally tailored educational intervention will improve knowledge, risk perceptions, and awareness of cancer risk assessments among AIs. We delivered an educational intervention comprised of culturally tailored case studies describing risk factors for developing cancer in both males and females. We assessed knowledge gaps about cancer risk and genetic testing, cancer risk perceptions, and willingness to participate in medical research studies, pre- and post-intervention. Among 23 participants, knowledge of genetic testing use and screening recommendations significantly improved post-intervention, with increased willingness to discuss cancer with family members, participate in medical research, and undergo genetic testing for cancer risk assessment. However, findings at the 1-month follow-up time did not show significant changes, except for one knowledge item. Culturally tailored educational interventions, delivered in a community setting, can influence knowledge and risk perceptions about cancer risk and genetics among AIs. Our findings lay the groundwork to continue educational efforts in the area of cancer risk and genetic testing in the AI population, a growing population that has been understudied in the US.


Cancer risk assessment Asian Indian Educational intervention Culturally tailored Ethnic minority Participation in medical research 



We are grateful to the Indian Cultural Center of South Jersey and the Malayalee Association of Greater Philadelphia for their support and community partnership of this study.

Funding information

This study was funded, in part, by a Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center Consortium Award.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Veda N. Giri
    • 1
    Email author
  • Preethi Selvan
    • 1
  • Salini Mohanty
    • 2
    • 3
  • Ray Lum
    • 4
  • Samantha Serrao
    • 5
  • Amy E. Leader
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Population Science, Department of Medical Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Cancer CenterThomas Jefferson UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Community Health and Prevention, Dornsife School of Public HealthDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Family and Community HealthUniversity of Pennsylvania School of NursingPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.Department of Management and Health PolicyDornsife School of Public HealthPhiladelphiaUSA
  5. 5.Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Dornsife School of Public HealthDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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