American Indian Perceptions of Colorectal Cancer Screening: Viewpoints from Adults Under Age 50

Department of Preventive Medicine & Public Health, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS, USA, .
Journal of Cancer Education (Impact Factor: 1.23). 10/2012; 28(1). DOI: 10.1007/s13187-012-0428-y
Source: PubMed


Colorectal cancer (CRC) mortality rates have decreased in the general US population; however, CRC mortality rates are increasing among American Indians (AI). AI CRC screening rates remain low when compared to other ethnic groups. Our team investigated CRC screening education prior to recommended age for screening to better understand screening perceptions among AI community members. Our research team conducted 11 focus groups with AI men and women aged 30-49 (N = 39 men and N = 31 women) in Kansas and Missouri. The results revealed that community members (1) have little knowledge of CRC, (2) do not openly discuss CRC, and (3) want additional CRC education. Variations existed among men and women's groups, but they agreed that preventive measures need to be appropriate for AI communities. Thus, AI CRC screening interventions should be culturally tailored to better meet the needs of the population.

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    ABSTRACT: Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a disease that can be prevented through early detection. Through the use of effective educational tools, individuals can become better informed about CRC and understand the importance of screening and early detection. The walk through Inflatable Colon is an innovative educational resource developed to engage and educate communities on CRC and the importance of receiving screening at the appropriate ages. Methods: The Inflatable Colon Assessment Survey (ICAS) assessed knowledge and behavioral intentions to obtain screening and promote CRC awareness. New Mexico State University faculty, staff, and students completed a consent form, took the pre-ICAS, toured the Inflatable Colon, and completed the post-ICAS. The majority of participants (92%) were young adults, mostly college students, under the age of 30 yrs. Results: Overall, participants demonstrated increases in CRC knowledge and awareness after touring the inflatable colon (p-values < 0.001). Interestingly, both males and Hispanics had lower CRC awareness at pre-test, but exhibited maximum awareness gains equal to that of females and non Hispanic Whites after touring the IC. Behavioral intentions to obtain CRC screening in the future and to promote CRC awareness also increased (p-value < 0.001). Gender differences in behavioral intentions to act as advocators for CRC education were found (p < 0.05), with females being more likely to educate others about CRC than males. Conclusion: Educational efforts conducted in early adulthood may serve to promote healthier lifestyles (e.g., physical activity, healthy nutrition, screening). These educated young adults may also serve to disseminate CRC information to high-risk friends and relatives. The walk through Inflatable Colon can increase CRC knowledge and intentions to get screened among a young and diverse population.
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