Perceptions of early detection screening for colorectal cancer in African American men & women, aged 30-44, using the health belief model
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African Americans (AA) have incidence and mortality rates of 55.2 and 24.5 per 100,000 cases for colorectal cancer (CRC). By 2030, incidence rates for colon and rectal cancers will increase by 90% and 124.2%, respectively, for ages 20-34 and by 27.7% and 46%, respectively, for ages 35-49. To date, studies targeting AA men and women, ages 30-44, about CRC screenings and screening behaviors are scarce as the vast majority of studies on CRC within the AA community are focused on those aged 50 and above. The purpose of this study was to investigate factors that influence AA men and women’s participation in early detection screening for CRC, utilizing a Health Belief Model framework. Through the use of a mixed-method convergent parallel design, quantitative and qualitative data collection was employed through an online survey and face-to-face interviews. Analysis was completed by SPSS ordinal logistic regression and NVIVO. Study findings indicated cues to action and perceived susceptibility were predictors of CRC screening; however, overall screening knowledge was low. Additionally, perceived barriers and perceived benefits were consistent with the current screening trends of AA men and women aged 50 and above. Based on the study findings, recommendations include: the creation of age-appropriate health communication campaigns and health interventions, updated CRC evidence-based screening guidelines to include younger adults based on current disease trends, advocacy efforts funding research to assess CRC impact in AA aged 30-44, and streamlined approaches for healthcare providers to discuss CRC screenings with patients younger than the age of 45.