208732 Trust and Faith: An assessment of barriers and facilitators of colorectal cancer screening in Blacks

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mary A. Garza, PhD, MPH , Center for Minority Health, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Tracey S. Beason, MSPH , Center for Minority Health, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Sharon McCarthy, MPH , Health Communications Division, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD
Background: Despite evidence that early detection of colorectal cancer (CRC) effectively prevents premature deaths, racial disparities in CRC persist. Underutilization of cancer screening services result in late stage diagnosis and higher mortality rates, especially among Blacks. Unfortunately, behavioral interventions to increase CRC screening have produced mixed results; presenting a challenge and opportunity to improve interventions. We need to better understand psychosocial/cultural factors (e.g., religiousness, trust, social support, risk perception) contributing to cancer health disparities. This study seeks to elucidate how these factors influence colorectal cancer screening behavior. Methods: This community-based study used qualitative research methods (focus groups and in-depth interviews) to assess participants' (age 50-74 years) attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge of CRC screening and their willingness to participate in research. Data was collected from three types of groups: those (1) screened for CRC, (2) unscreened for CRC, and (3) cancer survivors. Results: A total of 6 focus groups and 14 in-depth interviews (n=59) were conducted. Preliminary results show respondents were: male (36%), employed (44%), and high school graduates (40%). Additionally, 38% earned less than $25,000 annually. Common themes emerged including: 1) the importance of faith and the black church; 2) the importance of trust in physicians; 3) fear of participation in clinical research; and 4) lack of knowledge regarding risks of developing cancer and cancer etiology. Conclusion: Trust and faith appear to influence individual health behavior. A better understanding of these psychosocial/cultural factors will inform the design of culturally-tailored interventions that promote CRC screening and participation in research among blacks.

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe the role of faith and the use of faith-based institutions in designing interventions to promote colorectal cancer screening and participation in research. 2) Identify barriers and facilitators of colorectal cancer screening of a community-based sample.

Keywords: Faith Community, Cancer Screening

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently an assistant professor in Behavioral and Community Health Sciences and Deputy Director of the Center for Minority Health at the Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, PA. I have a strong interest and extensive experience in health disparities research. My research focuses on understanding the psychosocial and behavioral determinants of health behavior, specifically factors related to sustained compliance with cancer screening and health-related decision-making,which includes exploring the role and influence of religion and spirituality on health outcomes.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.