Journal of Community Health

, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 790–797 | Cite as

Sociocultural Barriers to Lung Cancer Screening Among Korean Immigrant Men

  • Mo-Kyung Sin
  • Ara Ha
  • Vicky Taylor
Original Paper


Lung cancer is a commonly occurring cancer among Korean American men. Korean Americans have lower rates of cancer screening participation than other Asian American sub-groups. However, little is known about factors that influence the cancer screening behavior of Korean immigrants. The purpose of this study was to explore facilitators of and barriers to lung cancer screening (i.e., low dose CT of the chest) among Korean immigrant men, using qualitative individual interviews and focus groups. A convenience sample of 24 Korean men who were immigrants, Washington State residents, able to speak Korean, aged 55–79, and eligible for lung cancer screening (based on current guidelines) were recruited from Korean churches and senior centers. Five focus groups (that included between two and five men) and nine individual interviews were conducted. Content analysis was used to analyze the qualitative data. Facilitators of lung cancer screening included perceptions about positive aspects of the health care system in South Korea, recommendations from others (physicians, family members, and community organizations), existing health problems and respiratory symptoms, interest in health, and the health consequences of aging. Barriers included costs of health care in the US, lack of time, lack of knowledge (about lung cancer and screening), attitudes about prevention, and lack of physician recommendation. This study adds new knowledge to a field where little information is available. It also lays the groundwork for developing culturally relevant lung cancer screening interventions for Korean Americans and the health care providers who serve them.


Barriers Facilitators Low dose CT Lung cancer screening Korean American men 



This study was funded by Seattle University Summer Faculty Fellowship. We appreciate our community partners and Korean immigrant men who participated in this study.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Seattle University College of NursingSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Cancer Prevention Research ProgramFred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterSeattleUSA

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