Harvesting Health Knowledge: Breast Cancer Perceptions in the South Florida Latinx Farmworker Community

Felicia Casanova, Felicia M. Knaul, Natalia M. Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


South Florida agricultural regions, home to Latinx immigrant farmworkers, report higher rates of late-stage breast cancer diagnosis than national, state, and county-level averages. We conducted a community-based qualitative study on the needs, health knowledge gaps, barriers to breast cancer screening, and the role of community health workers (CHWs) in supporting the community’s access to early detection services. We conducted three CHW focus groups (FGs) (n = 25) and in-depth interviews (n = 15), two FGs (n = 18) and in-depth interviews (n = 3) with farmworker community members, and informal interviews with cancer clinicians (n = 7). Using a grounded theory approach, five core themes regarding the community’s barriers to accessing health care services emerged: (a) lack of information; (b) social and economic barriers; (c) cultural factors; (d) fears and mistrust; and (e) psychosocial concerns. Findings yield implications for community health practice, the potential impact of CHWs, and the production of breast cancer education to improve health equity along with the care continuum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1423-1436
Number of pages14
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Latinx farmworkers
  • South Florida
  • breast cancer
  • community health workers
  • community-based participatory research
  • focus groups, in-depth interviews, Grounded Theory
  • health disparities
  • qualitative
  • women’s health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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