The effect of a health information intervention of knowledge and health practices regarding colorectal cancer in African Americans




Adams, Joyce

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



An experimental pretest-posttest control group design was used to investigate the effect of a health information intervention on knowledge and health practices regarding colorectal cancer in 97 African American adults. Four Baptist churches located in predominantly African American communities provided a convenience sample randomly assigned to one of two groups. Cox's (1982) Interaction Model of Client Health Behavior (IMCHB) formed the conceptual framework. Data were collected using the researcher-designed 44-item Colorectal Cancer Knowledge and Health Practices (CCKHP) instrument and the 18-item Denyes' (1990) Self-Care Practices Instrument (DSCPI-90) as pretest and the CCKHP instrument as posttest. The experimental group listened to a 20-minute health information program focused on the meaning of colorectal cancer, risk factors, signs and symptoms, and screening and preventive health practices. Five brochures containing basic health information regarding cancer, information specific for females and males, and information regarding colorectal cancer were given to both groups. The control group received only the brochures; no information was discussed with them. Three stool collection kits for hemoccult testing and written and verbal instructions were given to all subjects interested in being screened. Both groups received the CCKHP posttest 2 weeks later.

The majority of subjects were female (66%), employed full time (48%) with family incomes between $10,000 and $30,000 (47%). The alpha coefficient was.05, power at.80, and.4 effect size. Chi square, Mann-Whitney U, and t test for independent samples were used to test the five hypotheses. No significant differences existed between groups in knowledge scores (H3), health practices (H1), utilization of health care services (H2), intent to adhere to recommended health practices (H4), and utilization of health services related to self-care practices (H5).

Positive correlations were found between knowledge of cancer and self-care practices, family income, and education level. The experimental group's hemoccult test return of 48% was higher than average return rates reported in the reviewed literature. Based on data analysis, the method of presenting health information had no significant bearing on subjects' knowledge attainment. Therefore, nurses' use of printed handouts regarding health information may be equally as effective as structured classes in increasing individuals' knowledge regarding colorectal cancer and self-care practices.



Health education, Public health, African Americans, Colorectal cancer