268067 Differences in social networks and colorectal cancer screening behavior among Vietnamese American immigrants

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 3:20 PM - 3:35 PM

Gem Le, PhD, MHS , Cancer Prevention Institute of California, Fremont, CA
Bang H. Nguyen, DrPH , Research Department, Cancer Prevention Institute of California, Fremont, CA
Susan Stewart, PhD , Division of Biostatistics, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA
Alene Pham , Research Department, Cencer Prevention Institute of California, Fremont, CA
My Tong, MPH , Research, Cancer Prevention Institute of California, Berkeley, CA
Tung T. Nguyen, MD , Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Stephen J. McPhee, MD , Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Background: Although social networks are known to affect a wide range of health outcomes, their influence on colorectal cancer (CRC) screening behavior remains unclear. We compared social network characteristics of Vietnamese American immigrants who had CRC screening with those who did not have CRC screening.

Methods: We conducted a follow-up survey to assess social networks among Vietnamese Americans aged 50-74 who were enrolled in a CRC screening intervention trial in Santa Clara County, California. Social network measures captured up to five of the respondent's network members whom they rely on for help with health-related information and assessed characteristics of these network members. We used generalized estimating equations (GEE) to investigate differences in social network characteristics by respondents' CRC screening status.

Results: Among 231 participants, the mean age was 59.5 years, 51% were males, and 38% had ever received CRC screening at time of follow-up. Respondents' networks had a mean of 4.1 members, with 1.4 relatives and 3.0 friends. Network members were, on average, 56.4 years old and had known the respondent for 19.5 years. GEE analyses revealed that respondents who had received CRC screening had more network members who had received screening (p=0.0006) and more who had encouraged them to have screening (p=0.0336) than respondents who had never received screening.

Conclusions: Differences in social network characteristics were evident between Vietnamese American immigrants who received CRC screening and those who did not. These findings have important implications for informing future interventions to leverage social networks for promoting cancer screening behaviors.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify differences in social network characteristics among older Vietnamese American immigrants who are screened and unscreened for CRC. 2. Discuss strategies for leveraging social networks to promote CRC screening among older Vietnamese American immigrants.

Keywords: Cancer Screening, Ethnic Minorities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a research associate or project leader on several epidemiologic and public health intervention studies focused on understanding and addressing racial/ethnic disparities in cancer control and prevention, particularly in Asian ethnic populations. One of my primary research areas includes the study of social networks in influencing health behaviors and 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.

Back to: 4305.0: Cancer Epidemiology 2