Online Program

Colorectal cancer screening knowledge in Appalachian Kentucky

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Laurel Mills, DrPH, MPH, Department of Health Promotion and Administration, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY
Robin C. Vanderpool, DrPH, CHES, Department of Health Behavior, University of Kentucky College of Public Health, Lexington, KY
Kerry Kilbridge, MD, Oncology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA
Background: Appalachian Kentucky is recognized for poor socioeconomic conditions, geographic isolation, and poor health outcomes, particularly for colorectal cancer (CRC), the second leading cause of cancer-related mortality among men and women. Assessment of CRC screening knowledge is needed among this population to target CRC educational efforts. Methods: CRC screening knowledge among a sample of Appalachian Kentucky men and women age 45 and older (N=35) was explored using in-depth, semi-structured interviews. Interviews focused on participants' knowledge, comprehension, understanding of CRC terminology, anatomy, and commonly used screening procedures. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Analysis of the interview transcripts was an iterative process performed by all three authors. Results: Participants were predominantly female (n=27, 77.1%) and Caucasian (94.3%, n=33). The average age was 58 (n=34, SD=10.03) and over half of the sample reported having some college or more (n=22, 62.7 %). The majority reported earning less than $60,000 annually (n=28, 84.8%); most participants reported having health insurance (n=27, 77.1%). Thematic results suggest: 1) lack of understanding about colon and rectal cancer and colorectal cancer; 2) lack of knowledge about how CRC develops; and 3) discrepancy between having heard of a CRC screening-related term or screening test and accurate knowledge of term or procedure. Conclusions: Findings suggest this sample of Appalachian Kentucky adults had limited understanding of CRC and its related screening procedures, highlighting the need for increased patient-provider communication and attention to CRC health literacy. Improving CRC screening knowledge and patient-provider communication in Appalachian Kentucky may improve CRC disparities in the region.

Learning Areas:

Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe colorectal cancer disparities in Appalachian Kentucky. Describe the study sample’s knowledge, comprehension, and understanding of colorectal cancer-related terminology, anatomy, and commonly used screening procedures. Describe the importance of patient-provider communication and health literacy as it relates to improving colorectal cancer disparities in Appalachian Kentucky.

Keyword(s): Cancer Prevention, Communication

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: During my graduate training at the Master's and Doctoral level I worked with different communities and populations. In my doctoral work, I worked along side my mentor with Appalachian populations on projects focused on cancer control and prevention. Cancer control and prevention in Appalachian Kentucky is an important scientific interest of mine.
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.