Article

Knowledge of colon cancer screening in a national probability sample in the United States.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York, USA.
Journal of Health Communication (Impact Factor: 1.61). 02/2006; 11 Suppl 1:19-35. DOI: 10.1080/10810730600637533
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study examined colon cancer screening knowledge and potential covariates (demographic, health, health care, and cancer information seeking) among adults of at least 45 years of age. Data were analyzed from the 2003 National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS 2003), a U.S. random-digit dial study. Our sample consisted of 3,131 adults (53.6% female, 77.9% White). The colon cancer screening knowledge questions assessed whether participants had heard of the fecal occult blood test (FOBT; 73.7%), knew the recommended start age (26.1%), knew the frequency of FOBT (39.5%), had heard of flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy (84.3%), knew the start age (39.6%), and knew the frequency with which to test (12.8%). Factors associated with lower knowledge (all equal to p < .05 in a multivariate analysis) included being younger (45 to 49 years old) or older (70 years old or more), African American or non-Hispanic other, unmarried; had lower educational attainment; had not visited a health care provider in the past year; had not previously undergone FOBT; and had never looked for cancer information. This study documents low rates of colon cancer screening knowledge in the general population, and identifies subgroups where health communication interventions are most warranted.

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