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Table 2 Summary of relationship between main and cross-cutting themesa

From: Knowledge and experience of cancer prevention and screening among Gypsies, Roma and Travellers: a participatory qualitative study

Cross-cutting themes

Main themes

Beliefs about cancer

Risk reduction in daily life

Participation in screening

Ethnic identity

Aware of traditional views

Mistrust of health promotion messages

Aware of ‘healthy lifestyle’ messages

Activities with children and animals

Belief that community uptake is low

Screening outside NHS (e.g. abroad (Roma only) or via private medical services in UK (Showpeople only))

Gender roles

Men are stoical about illness

Men and women do not discuss private health matters

Women provide meals

Women and men’s exercise is highly gendered

Women likely to attend screening

Men unlikely to attend


Traditional cancer fatalism

Doubt whether prevention is possible

Men likely to await symptoms

Fear of being shamed

Tradition that cancer is taboo

Low health literacy

Exposure of body contravenes privacy (Gypsy/Travellers only)

Social and economic factors

Low literacy levels

Language barriers (Roma only)

Expectation of early morbidity

Awareness of risk in work and living conditions

Lack of familiarity with UK screening system (Roma only)

  1. aThemes apply to all ethnic minority subgroups unless specified