Understanding the causes of breast cancer treatment delays at a teaching hospital in Ghana

Olutobi A. Sanuade, Hannah Ayettey, Sandra Hewlett, Florence Dedey, Lily Wu, Titilola Akingbola, Gbenga Ogedegbe, Ama de-Graft Aikins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Poor outcomes for breast cancer in Ghana have been attributed to late presentation of symptoms at biomedical facilities. This study explored factors accounting for delays in initiation of breast cancer treatment at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra. Focus group discussions were conducted with 20 women with breast cancer. A theory-driven thematic analysis identified three multilevel factors influencing treatment seeking delays: (1) patient (e.g. misinterpretation of symptoms, fear), (2) healthcare provider (e.g. negative attitudes) and (3) health systems (e.g. shortage of medicines). Addressing treatment delays will require multilevel interventions, including culturally congruent education, psychosocial counselling/support and strengthening health systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-366
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of health psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Ghana
  • breast cancer
  • healthcare provider attitudes
  • healthcare systems
  • illness perception
  • treatment delays

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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