Sociocultural Differences and Colorectal Cancer Screening Among African American Men and Women

Kelly Brittain

Carol Loveland-Cherry

Laurel L. Northouse

Cleopatra H. Caldwell

Jacquelyn Y. Taylor

African American, colorectal cancer
ONF 2011, 39(1), 100-107. DOI: 10.1188/12.ONF.100-107

Purpose/Objectives: To examine sociocultural factors that influence an informed decision about colorectal cancer (CRC) screening among African American men and women.

Design: Descriptive, cross-sectional.

Setting: A medical center, a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, and various social organizations and barbershops in a midwestern city of the United States.

Sample: A purposive sample of African American women (n = 65) and African American men (n = 64) aged 50 years and older.

Methods: Participants completed a self-administered survey.

Main Research Variables: Cultural identity, CRC beliefs, family support, and informed decision.

Findings: Family support was positively related to CRC beliefs among participants, and CRC beliefs were positively related to an informed decision. However, among men, family support positively related to an informed decision about CRC screening. In addition, t-test results indicated that the men and women were significantly different. Family support predicted CRC beliefs among men (p < 0.01) and women (p < 0.01). CRC beliefs predicted CRC screening informed decisions among men (p < 0.01) and women (p < 0.05). However, the accounted variance was dissimilar, suggesting a difference in the impact of the predictors among the men and women.

Conclusions: Family support has a significant impact on CRC beliefs about CRC screening among African Americans. However, how men and women relate to the variables differs.

Implications for Nursing: To improve CRC screening rates, informed decision-making interventions for African Americans should differ for men and women and address family support, CRC beliefs, and elements of cultural identity.

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