Examining intuitive cancer risk perceptions in Haitian-Creole and Spanish-speaking populations

Jennifer L. Hay, Debra Brennessel, M. Margaret Kemeny, Erica I. Lubetkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: There is a developing emphasis on intuition and affect in the illness risk perception process, yet there have been no available strategies to measure these constructs in non-English speakers. This study examined the comprehensibility and acceptability of translations of cancer risk beliefs in Haitian-Creole and Spanish. Method: An established, iterative, team based translation process was employed. Cognitive interviews (n = 20 in Haitian-Creole speakers; n = 23 in Spanish speakers) were conducted in an inner-city primary care clinic by trained interviewers who were native speakers of each language. Use of an established coding scheme for problematic terms and ambiguous concepts resulted in rewording and dropping items. Results: Most items (90% in the Haitian-Creole version; 87% in the Spanish version) were highly comprehensible. Discussion: This work will allow for further research examining health outcomes associated with risk perceptions across diverse, non-English language subgroups, paving the way for targeted risk communication with these populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-375
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Transcultural Nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Language and communications
  • Oncology/hematology
  • Perceptions of risk


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