Development of a culturally sensitive website for the promotion of healthy lifestyles and cancer screening utilization for effective cancer prevention among South Asians in Hong Kong.

July 19th, 2019 in ICNN Articles, International News

Dr. Winnie K.W. SO, (RN, PhD)
Ms. Tika RANA, (MSc. Stud)
Dr. Bernard M. H. LAW, (PhD)
The Nethersole School of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine, the Chinese University of Hong Kong


Cancer is a common chronic disease with 18.1 million new cases and death of around 9.6 million reported worldwide in 2018 (WHO, 2019). Notably, South Asian ethnic minorities appear to be particularly vulnerable to cancer development, owing to their lack of knowledge on the strategies for cancer prevention. Indeed, the uptake of cervical cancer screening among South Asian women in Hong Kong was considerably lower than that among local Chinese women (36.9% vs 60.5%) (So et al., 2017; Cervical cancer coverage, 2019), which is partly attributed to the unawareness of local South Asians on the importance of cancer screening in cancer prevention.

Picture 1: Promotion of the website among South Asian women at a religious place

Moreover, they face difficulties in accessing publicly available healthcare services due to language barrier, culture-related factors and lack of health insurance coverage (So et al., 2015; Vandan et al., 2018). With the low level of health knowledge among these South Asian ethnic minorities being a factor for their vulnerability to cancer development, effective dissemination of information on the effective strategies for cancer prevention to these individuals is required. This project aims to develop a culturally sensitive website to disseminate the importance of adopting healthy lifestyles and cancer screening utilisation in cancer prevention among South Asians in Hong Kong.


The content and materials required for the development of the website were first prepared. The website contains information on the strategies of prevention of chronic diseases including various cancers, presenting videos that disseminate the importance of cancer screening utilisation and adoption of healthy lifestyles in cancer prevention. Advice was sought from health professionals and South Asian community leaders on the strategies in making the content more informative. Thereafter, the website content was translated into South Asian languages and uploaded onto the website. The developed website (http://minorityhealth.nur.cuhk.edu.hk/) was then promoted among South Asians via 19 organizations including local nongovernmental organizations, ethnic minority associations, and social media to increase its publicity. Effectiveness of the website in enhancing health and cancer knowledge was assessed among the website viewers via a self-report questionnaire.

Picture 2: Project team with advisory panel members
Picture 3: Promotion of the website to South Asian


Overall, the website was viewed 12,718 times. Information related to different cancers were most frequently viewed. Further, a total of 249 participants took part in the evaluation of the effectiveness of the website. More than 90% of them expressed that the website was effective in enhancing their knowledge on chronic disease and cancer prevention and that they were satisfied with the website. More than 100 inquiries were made by the website viewers via phone, Facebook page or “contact us” link, request further information on issues regarding cancer screening.

Picture 4: Promotion of the website among South Asian by setting up a booth in ethnic minority event


The use of a culturally sensitive website in disseminating health knowledge may be an effective way in promoting the importance of cancer screening among South Asians in Hong Kong. Healthcare policy makers should allocate resources to the development of online educational materials for a wider dissemination of health knowledge among South Asians, which would help enhance their understanding on the effective strategies for cancer prevention, thereby lowering their risk of developing cancer.


Cervical cancer coverage. (2019, May). Cervical Screening Programme: Statistics and Reports. Retreived from https://www.cervicalscreening.gov.hk/english/sr/sr_statistics_ccsc.html

So, W.K.W., Chan, N. S. D., Rana, T., Law, B.M.H., Leung, D.Y.P., Chan, H.Y.L., Ng, C.C., Chair, S.Y., Chan, C.W.H. (2017). Development and evaluation of multimedia interventions to promote breast and cervical health among South Asian women in Hong Kong: A project protocol. Asia- Pacific Journal of Oncology Nursing; 4(4): 361-365.

So, W.K., Chow, K.M., Choi, K.C., Chen, J.M., Chan, C.W. (2015). Perceived facilitators and barriers to cervical cancer screening among ethnic minority women in Hong Kong. Cancer Nurs;38:S7.

Vanda, N., Wong, J.Y., Fong, D.Y. (2018). Accessing health care: Experiences of South Asian ethnic minority women in Hong Kong. Nursing and Health Sciences; 21(1): 93-101.

World Health Organization (WHO). (2019). Latest global cancer data: cancer burdern rises to 18.1 millin new cases and 9.6 cancer deaths in 2018 . Retrieved from https://www.who.int/cancer/PRGlobocanFinal.pdf