Exploring Perceptions of Colorectal Cancer and Fecal Immunochemical Testing Among African Americans in a North Carolina Community
Published Date:Oct 17 2011
Source:Prev Chronic Dis. 2011; 8(6).
Pubmed Central ID:PMC3221575
Funding:5-U48-DP000059/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
U01CA114629/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States
African Americans have a lower colorectal cancer screening rate than whites and higher disease incidence and mortality. Despite wide acceptance of colonoscopy for accurate screening, increasing promotion of high-sensitivity stool test screening, such as the fecal immunochemical test (FIT), may narrow racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in screening. This study provides formative research data to develop an intervention to increase colorectal cancer screening among underinsured and uninsured African Americans in central North Carolina.
We held 4 focus groups to explore knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes about colorectal cancer screening, particularly FIT. Participants (n = 28) were African American adults recruited from neighborhoods with high levels of poverty and unemployment. Constructs from the diffusion of innovation theory were used to develop the discussion guide.
In all groups, participants noted that lack of knowledge about colorectal cancer contributes to low screening use. Attitudes about FIT sorted into 4 categories of "innovation characteristics": relative advantage of FIT compared with no screening and with other screening tests; compatibility with personal beliefs and values; test complexity; and test trialability. A perceived barrier to FIT and other stool tests was risk of incurring costs for diagnostic follow-up.
Community-based FIT screening interventions should include provider recommendation, patient education to correctly perform FIT, modified FIT design to address negative attitudes about stool tests, and assurance of affordable follow-up for positive FIT results.
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