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PURPOSE: To assess factors associated with perceptions of prostate cancer screening among African-American men aged > or = 55 years based upon items developed using the Preventive Health model (PHM). RESEARCH APPROACH: Focus group research and thematic coding using content analysis. SETTING: A large midwestern, private, nonprofit health system. PARTICIPANTS: African-American men aged > or = 55 years. Focus group 1 included 10 men who ranged in age from 55-87 years, with a mean age of 73.4 years. The 11 participants in focus group 2 ranged in age from 55-81 years, with a mean age of 68.7 years. METHODOLOGICAL APPROACH: Focus group questions were developed based on the conceptual framework of the PHM. African-American men aged > or = 55 years were randomly selected from the patient population of the healthcare system to participate in one of two focus groups. Content analysis was used to code the focus group transcripts. MAIN RESEARCH VARIABLES: Self-reported perceptions of prostate cancer screening. FINDINGS: Major themes emerging from the focus groups related to prostate cancer screening include: lack of knowledge regarding cancer, fear of cancer, confusion between prostate cancer screening and prostate cancer diagnostic tests, encouragement by others as motivation for cancer screening, intergenerational transfer of health information, lack of health insurance coverage as a barrier to prostate cancer screening and treatment, and limited availability of screening clinic hours during nonworking hours. INTERPRETATION: The information gained from this study could be used to develop interventions promoting informed and shared decision-making by patients and their providers regarding prostate cancer screening.