Due to disparities in the use of genetic services, there has been growing interest in examining beliefs and attitudes related to genetic testing for breast and/or ovarian cancer risk among women of African descent. However, to date, few studies have addressed critical cultural variations among this minority group and their influence on such beliefs and attitudes.
We assessed ethnic, racial and cultural identity and examined their relationships with perceived benefits and barriers related to genetic testing for cancer risk in a sample of 160 women of African descent (49% self-identified African American, 39% Black-West Indian/Caribbean, 12% Black-Other) who met genetic risk criteria and were participating in a larger longitudinal study including the opportunity for free genetic counseling and testing in New York City. All participants completed the following previously validated measures: (a) the multi-group ethnic identity measure (including ethnic search and affirmation subscales) and other-group orientation for ethnic identity, (b) centrality to assess racial identity, and (c) Africentrism to measure cultural identity. Perceived benefits and barriers related to genetic testing included: (1) pros/advantages (including family-related pros), (2) cons/disadvantages (including family-related cons, stigma and confidentiality concerns), and (3) concerns about abuses of genetic testing.
In multivariate analyses, several ethnic identity elements showed significant, largely positive relationships to perceived benefits about genetic testing for breast and/or ovarian cancer risk, the exception being ethnic search, which was positively associated with cons/disadvantages, in general, and family-related cons/disadvantages. Racial identity (centrality) showed a significant association with confidentiality concerns. Cultural identity (Africentrism) was not related to perceived benefits and/or barriers.
Ethnic and racial identity may influence perceived benefits and barriers related to genetic testing for breast and/or ovarian cancer risk among at-risk women of African descent. Genetic counseling services may want to take into account these factors in the creation of culturally-appropriate services which best meet the needs of this heterogenous population.
Breast cancer; Cultural identity; Ethnic identity; Genetic testing; Racial identity
Although prior research shows that substantial proportions of African Americans hold conspiracy beliefs, little is known about the subgroups of African Americans most likely to endorse such beliefs. We examined the relationship of African Americans' sociodemographic characteristics to their conspiracy beliefs about HIV/AIDS and birth control. Anonymous telephone surveys were conducted with a targeted random-digit-dial sample of 500 African Americans (15-44 years) in the contiguous United States. Respondents reported agreement with statements capturing beliefs in HIV/AIDS conspiracies (one scale) and birth control conspiracies (two scales). Sociodemographic variables included gender, age, education, employment, income, number of people income supports, number of living children, marital/cohabitation status, religiosity and black identity. Multivariate analyses indicated that stronger HIV/AIDS conspiracy beliefs were significantly associated with male gender, black identity and lower income. Male gender and lower education were significantly related to black genocide conspiracy beliefs, and male gender and high religiosity were significantly related to contraceptive safety conspiracy beliefs. The set of sociodemographic characteristics explained a moderately small amount of the variance in conspiracy beliefs regarding HIV/AIDS (R2 range=0.07-0.12) and birth control (R2 range=0.05-0.09). Findings suggest that conspiracy beliefs are not isolated to specific segments of the African-American population.
News stories reporting race-specific health information commonly emphasize disparities between racial groups. But recent research suggests this focus on disparities has unintended effects on African American audiences, generating negative emotions and less interest in preventive behaviors (Nicholson RA, Kreuter MW, Lapka C et al. Unintended effects of emphasizing disparities in cancer communication to African-Americans. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2008; 17: 2946–52). They found that black adults are more interested in cancer screening after reading about the progress African Americans have made in fighting cancer than after reading stories emphasizing disparities between blacks and whites. This study builds on past findings by (i) examining how health journalists judge the newsworthiness of stories that report race-specific health information by emphasizing disparities versus progress and (ii) determining whether these judgments can be changed by informing journalists of audience reactions to disparity versus progress framing. In a double-blind-randomized experiment, 175 health journalists read either a disparity- or progress-framed story on colon cancer, preceded by either an inoculation about audience effects of such framing or an unrelated (i.e. control) information stimuli. Journalists rated the disparity-frame story more favorably than the progress-frame story in every category of news values. However, the inoculation significantly increased positive reactions to the progress-frame story. Informing journalists of audience reactions to race-specific health information could influence how health news stories are framed.
This feasibility study developed and pilot tested an intervention to: (1) increase knowledge about prostate cancer (CaP) screening; and (2) promote self-efficacy to participate in the informed decision-making (IDM) process.
African-American (AA) men are a priority audience for CaP screening interventions to promote IDM, and faith-based settings have been shown to be an effective venue to reach this population. Therefore we used predominantly AA churches to develop and test our intervention.
Participants (N=73) were recruited and the intervention was administered by an AA health educator.
We developed and pre-tested a CaP screening IDM intervention based on the Ottawa Decision Support Framework and the Health Belief Model. The intervention included a tool called the ‘Road Map’ that depicts the potential consequences of a decision to undergo, or to forgo screening. A quasi-experimental design was used to test the intervention.
Main Outcome Measures
The main outcome measures were change in knowledge and self-efficacy post intervention.
CaP knowledge (p<0.0001) and self-efficacy (p=0.025) significantly increased.
A church-based intervention delivered by anAA health educator is a promising strategy for promoting IDM among AA men.
prostate cancer screening; informed decision-making; faith-based intervention; disparities; African-American
Radio stations that target African American audiences ("black radio") reach a national African American audience daily, making black radio an ideal medium for health promotion and disparities reduction in the African American community. Black radio can be used to communicate public health messages and to recruit African Americans into public health research.
Racial attitude characteristics of African Americans may have important implications for patient-therapist matching in substance abuse treatment. The Black Racial Identity Attitude Scale (BRIAS) is a questionnaire used to measure racial identity attitudes. This study tested the stability and internal consistency of the BRIAS in an African-American substance-abusing population. This is the first known test of the BRIAS in a clinical population. African-American veterans (n = 53) were administered the BRIAS to test for stability over time and internal consistency. Initial analysis of the instrument revealed that a majority of items were not stable over time. Using the initial results, we removed 26 problematic items. Three modified scales remained, each having marginal test-retest reliability. Two of the modified scales had moderately adequate internal consistency, and the third was minimally adequate. We found that the BRIAS did not demonstrate sufficient internal consistency or stability in this population to adequately identify the constructs of the Nigrescence Racial Identity Development theory of William Cross, Jr. There is a growing recognition of the need to explore the extent of racial, ethnic, and cultural factors in substance abuse behavior and treatment; therefore, we recommend that further attention be directed toward developing an instrument to reliably and accurately measure identity constructs among African-American clinical subjects.
The current study investigated the association between racial identity and reasons for living in African American women who have attempted suicide. Particular attention was paid to the relation between two elements of racial identity (private regard, racial centrality) and reasons for living, an alternative assessment of suicidal risk. While private regard refers to an individual’s beliefs about the African American race, racial centrality describes the importance an individual places on his or her racial identity. The sample included 82 low-income African American women, ages 18–64, who reported a suicide attempt in the past 12 months. Participants, recruited from a large, urban public hospital located in the Southeast, completed the Reasons for Living Inventory and the Multidimensional Inventory of Black Identity, which included the private regard and racial centrality subscales. Results indicated that, as predicted, higher private regard was associated with more reasons for living. Contrary to expectations, racial centrality was not correlated with reasons for living nor was there an interaction between private regard and racial centrality indicating that racial centrality did not function as a moderator in predicting participants’ reasons for living scores. Implications for culturally competent clinical interventions that target bolstering private regard are discussed.
African American women; suicide attempts; racial identity; reasons for living
In the current article, the authors examine the potential role of mind-body interventions for preventing or reducing health disparities in a specific group—African American women. The authors first discuss how health disparities affect this group, including empirical evidence regarding the influence of biopsychosocial processes (e.g., psychological stress and social context) on disparate health outcomes. They also detail how African American women's unique stress experiences as a result of distinct sociohistorical and cultural experiences related to race and gender potentially widen exposure to stressors and influence stress responses and coping behaviors. Using two independent, but related, frameworks (Superwoman Schema [SWS] and the Strong Black Woman Script [SBW-S]), they discuss how, for African American women, stress is affected by “strength” (vis-à-vis resilience, fortitude, and self-sufficiency) and the emergent health-compromising behaviors related to strength (e.g., emotional suppression, extraordinary caregiving, and self-care postponement). The authors then describe the potential utility of three mind-body interventions—mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), loving-kindness meditation (LKM), and NTU psychotherapy—for specifically targeting the stress-, strength-, and contextually related factors that are thought to influence disparate outcomes for African American women. Self-awareness, self-care, inter- and intrapersonal restorative healing and a redefinition of inner strength may manifest through developing a mindfulness practice to decrease stress-related responses; using LKM to cultivate compassion and forgiveness for self and others; and the balance of independence and interdependence as a grounding NTU principle for redefining strength. The authors conclude with a discussion of potential benefits for integrating key aspects of the interventions with recommendations for future research.
mind-body; CAM; African American women; stress; health disparities; strength; MBSR; loving-kindness; NTU
Despite the long history, wide reach and unique influence of Black newspapers in many African American communities, no national studies have examined how these newspapers cover health and cancer issues, or reader perceptions of their coverage.
Design and Participants
A two-year national sample of Black newspapers (n=24) and community-matched general audience newspapers (n=12) was reviewed, and 8,690 health and cancer stories were identified and content analyzed. A survey of 783 Black newspaper readers in the same 24 communities assessed reading frequency and perceptions of reporting for both types of newspapers, as well as readers’ health concerns and cancer screening behaviors.
As a proportion of total health coverage, Black newspapers published more cancer stories than general audience newspapers, and their stories were more likely to contain localized information, address disparities, focus on prevention, include calls to action for readers and refer readers to cancer information resources (all p<.001). Black newspaper readers identified cancer as the health issue that concerned them most, yet rated it the fourth most important health problem affecting African Americans.
Black newspapers hold promise for helping eliminate cancer disparities by increasing cancer awareness, prevention, and screening among African Americans.
Black newspaper; African Americans; cancer disparities; news
Higher rates of attrition in health research have been reported for African Americans (AAs). However, little is known about which AAs are more prone to drop out and why. One potential predictor that has not been explored is Ethnic Identity (EI). This study examined the association between EI and loss-to-follow-up among AAs enrolled in a health promotion intervention to increase fruit and vegetable intake.
Five hundred and sixty AA adults from two integrated health care delivery systems in Atlanta and Detroit were enrolled into a randomized intervention trial. At baseline, all participants were classified into six EI core groups: Afrocentric, Black American, Bicultural, Multicultural, Assimilated, and High Cultural Mistrust. We examined loss-to-follow-up rates by these EI type.
Overall, 92 participants (16%) were lost to follow up. Loss-to-follow-up rates were higher among those classified as Afrocentric (24%) than those without an Afrocentric identity (13%). After adjustment for covariates, Afrocentric participants were 1.9 times (CI: 1.1 – 3.6) more likely to be lost to follow up than participants without this identity type.
Assessing EI of AAs in research studies may help identify groups at risk for dropout and/or non-response.
Ethnic identity; African American; tailored health communication
African-American women have the highest breast cancer death rates of all racial/ethnic groups in the US. Reasons for these disparities are multi-factorial, but include lower mammogram utilization among this population. Cultural attitudes and beliefs, such as fear and fatalism, have not been fully explored as potential barriers to mammography among African-American women.
To explore the reasons for fear associated with breast cancer screening among low-income African-American women.
We conducted four focus groups ( = 29) among a sample of African-American women at an urban academic medical center. We used trained race-concordant interviewers with experience discussing preventive health behaviors. Each interview/focus group was audio-taped, transcribed verbatim and imported into Atlas.ti software. Coding was conducted using an iterative process, and each transcription was independently coded by members of the research team.
Several major themes arose in our exploration of fear and other psychosocial barriers to mammogram utilization, including negative health care experiences, fear of the health care system, denial and repression, psychosocial issues, delays in seeking health care, poor health outcomes and fatalism. We constructed a conceptual model for understanding these themes.
Fear of breast cancer screening among low-income African-American women is multi-faceted, and reflects shared experiences within the health care system as well as the psychosocial context in which women live. This study identifies a prominent role for clinicians, particularly primary care physicians, and the health care system to address these barriers to mammogram utilization within this population.
breast cancer; mammography; African-Americans; barriers to healthcare
Recent reports suggest that providers’ implicit attitudes about race contribute to racial and ethnic health care disparities. However, little is known about physicians’ implicit racial attitudes. This study measured implicit and explicit attitudes about race using the Race Attitude Implicit Association Test (IAT) for a large sample of test takers (N = 404,277), including a sub-sample of medical doctors (MDs) (n = 2,535). Medical doctors, like the entire sample, showed an implicit preference for White Americans relative to Black Americans. We examined these effects among White, African American, Hispanic, and Asian MDs and by physician gender. Strength of implicit bias exceeded self-report among all test takers except African American MDs. African American MDs, on average, did not show an implicit preference for either Blacks or Whites, and women showed less implicit bias than men. Future research should explore whether, and under what conditions, MDs’ implicit attitudes about race affect the quality of medical care.
Racial and ethnic health care disparities; implicit and explicit attitudes about race; physician racial bias; physicians; gender; race; ethnicity
The purpose of this study was to examine African Americans’ lay beliefs and attributions toward suicide. The Attitudes Toward Suicide Scale, Life Ownership Orientation Questionnaire, Stigma Questionnaire, and Suicide Ideation Questionnaire were administered to 251 undergraduate college students. Beliefs about stigma associated with suicide were comparable across ethnic groups. However, African American college students were significantly less likely than European American college students were to attribute suicide to interpersonal problems and to report that the individual or government is responsible for life. African American students were significantly more likely to report that God is responsible for life. These findings have important implications for suicide risk and also for developing culturally appropriate interventions.
lay theory; suicide; beliefs; attributions; African American
The under-representation of racial/ethnic minorities among medical research participants has recently resulted in mandates for their inclusion by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Therefore, there is a need to determine how history, attitudes, cultural beliefs, social issues, and investigator behavior affect minority enrollment in medical research studies. From January 1998 to March 1999, 179 African-American and white residents of the Detroit Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA) participated in a mail and telephone survey designed to examine impediments to African-American participation in medical research studies. Chi-square tests were performed to assess differences between the study groups using the Survey Data Analysis Program (SUDAAN). Eighty-one percent of African Americans and 28% of whites had knowledge of the Tuskegee Study (p = <0.001). Knowledge of the Tuskegee Study resulted in less trust of researchers for 51% of African-Americans and 17% of whites (p = 0.02). Forty-six percent of African-Americans and 34% of whites indicated that their knowledge of the study would affect future research participation decisions (p = 0.25). Of these, 49% of African-Americans and 17% of whites would not be willing to participate in future medical research studies (p = 0.05). This study confirms the need for medical researchers to confront the issue of the Tuskegee Study and its continuing impact on African-Americans' trust of medical research studies.
This study identifies unique psychosocial characteristics among African American men that put the men at risk for non-adherence to colorectal cancer (CRC) screening (colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy and FOBT). Subgroups sharing similar psychosocial characteristics may be targeted with specific intervention strategies aimed at increasing participation in screening, which could lead to increased early detection and decreased morbidity and mortality.
The male, African American veterans in our sample (n=260) had a mean age = 57.3 (SD=7.3). Our study employs latent class analysis (LCA), a quantitative-based, audience segmentation method to identify homogeneous subgroups of African American men with similar psychosocial characteristics related to CRC screening, potentially in need of different health information and intervention strategies. Latent class regression was used to examine the relationships among latent class structure and demographic characteristics.
There were four psychosocial risk classes across the three screening tests. A significant subset of men had psychosocial characteristics indicative of willingness to be screened for each test (Colonscopy=21.8%, Sigmoidoscopy=31.5%, FOBT=10.8%), although they were currently non-adherent. Men who received a past screening test, had greater than a high school education, or were married were more likely to be represented in a latent class indicative of being prepared for getting colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy. Socio-demographic variables were unrelated to FOBT latent class structure.
Segmenting our sample of male African American veterans based on psychosocial risk characteristics can inform the development of more precisely targeted interventions for African American men who are non-adherent for CRC screening.
Colorectal cancer screening; Latent Class Analysis; Black men
Ethnic identity has been identified as a factor contributing to resilience and coping in African Americans. Ethnic identity includes positive feelings of ethnic affirmation and belonging, appreciation for one’s ethnic identity, and increased ethnic behaviors. This study examines the role of ethnic identity in symptoms of anxiety and depression. Participants were an adult student and community sample (N=572), administered the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), Center for Epidemiologic Studies of Depression Scale (CES-D), State Trait Anxiety Inventory – state portion (STAI-S), and Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure (MEIM). Compared to European Americans, African Americans reported significantly greater depression and more negative state anxiety, as well as higher levels of ethnic identity. For African Americans, higher ethnic identity was correlated to reduced anxiety and depression, whereas this was not true for European Americans. Findings support the proposition that a strong, positive ethnic identity may serve a protective role among African Americans by moderating the relationship between discriminatory experiences and psychological well-being. An Afrocentric perspective may also contribute to reduced anxiety due to a greater emphasis on a present versus future-oriented worldview. Clinical implications and directions for future research are discussed.
ethnic identity; ethnic differences; African Americans; affect; mood disorders; anxiety disorders
This study explores the potential utility of a culturally tailored diabetes management intervention approach by testing associations between acculturation and diabetes-related beliefs among Mexican American adults with type 2 diabetes.
Data from 288 Mexican American adults with type 2 diabetes were obtained via a bilingual, telephone-administered survey. Participants were drawn from a stratified, random sample designed to obtain maximum variability in acculturation. The survey assessed diabetes-related beliefs, intervention preferences, and three acculturation constructs from the Hazuda acculturation and assimilation scales: Spanish use, value for preserving Mexican culture, and interaction with Mexican Americans.
Only one outcome, preference for a program for Mexican Americans, was associated with all three acculturation variables. Spanish use was positively associated with belief in susto as a cause of diabetes, preference for expert-driven health guidance, and involvement of others in taking care of diabetes. Value for preserving Mexican culture was related to a more holistic view of health, as evidenced by an increased likelihood of consulting a curandero, use of prayer, and interest in a diabetes program with religious content. Value for cultural preservation was also related to higher suspicion of free diabetes programs. Interaction with Mexican Americans was associated with a belief that insulin causes blindness.
Findings from this study suggest distinct relationships between acculturation constructs and diabetes-related beliefs and preferences, this arguing against use of a single acculturation construct to determine diabetes intervention design. Cultural tailoring may enhance the cultural appropriateness and ultimate effectiveness of diabetes interventions for Mexican American adults.
An adequate blood supply depends on volunteer non-remunerated blood donors. African Americans have lower blood donation rates than whites. To improve African American blood donation rates, the motivators and barriers to African Americans must be explored. To study the differences in motivators and barriers to blood donation between donor and non-donor African American college students.
African Americans college students at two Historically Black Colleges and Universities completed a 41-item, self-administered questionnaire, which assessed participant’s donation frequency, motivators and barriers toward donation, and knowledge and beliefs towards blood donation.
364 primarily female college students (96% African Americans, 93% female) completed the questionnaire. 49% reported prior blood donation experience (donors) and 51% were non-donors. The primary motivator for donors and non-donors was convenience (89% donor, 82% non-donor). Donors were more likely than non-donors to disagree with statements regarding blood donation as being too painful (82% donor, 44% non-donor), resulting in feeling faint, dizzy, or nauseated (61% donor, 29% non-donor). Donors more often agreed that the blood supply is safe (77% donor, 58% non-donor), less often concerned about receiving a transfusion (61% donor, 73% non-donor), and more often aware of local blood shortages (50% donor, 35% non-donor).
African Americans female college students are willing to donate blood given convenience and support from their university. Educational campaigns to increase knowledge regarding the safety of the blood donation process and the ongoing needs of an adequate blood supply might be effective methods to increase blood donation.
More than 60% of African American adults do not meet recommendations for moderate physical activity. We sought to discover the extent to which health attitudes and beliefs are associated with leisure-time physical activity in this population.
African American adults were asked about their health attitudes and beliefs during a national survey.
Participants were 807 African American men and women aged 18 years and older. Random-digit dialing was employed, sampling telephone numbers by geographical region, area code, and population size.
Main Outcome Measures
Participants were asked six health belief questions on the importance of exercise and body weight in health. Logistic regression was used to determine which of these factors were associated with physical activity participation.
The percent of respondents participating in some form of physical activity during the past month was 87.1% in men and 82.9% in women. Factors associated with previous month physical activity in men were perceived personal importance of exercise (p<0.001) and necessity of exercise for health (p=0.018). In women, perceived personal importance of exercise (p<0.001), necessity of exercise for health (p= 0.006), and having enough activity space (p=0.017) were associated with physical activity participation.
Though the direction of causation is unknown, having the attitude that it is important to exercise or be physically active for health predicts physical activity participation in both African American men and women. Creating a sense of importance of physical activity to relieve stress and foster good health may stimulate physical activity participation in African American adults.
physical activity; African American; attitudes; beliefs; survey
To evaluate the applicability of an evidence-based video intervention to promote informed decision making for prostate cancer (CaP) screening among African-American men with different levels of health literacy.
Forty nine African-American men participated in interviewer-administered, pretest-posttest interviews between January and March 2008. Health literacy status was assessed with the Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (TOFHLA). Repeated measures analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), McNemar or binomial distributions were computed to assess pretest/posttest differences in knowledge. Descriptive statistics were produced to describe participants’ perceptions of the information presented in the video.
Results indicated that men with functional health literacy had higher mean levels of CaP screening knowledge at baseline than men with inadequate health literacy. The between group (F2,44 = 4.84; p = .013) and within group (F1,44 = 5.16; p = .028) test results from repeated measures ANCOVA indicated that preexisting group differences in CaP knowledge had lessened after intervention exposure. Nearly all men rated the information presented in the video as credible (98%), trustworthy (96%), interesting (100%), understandable (94%), and complete (96%).
Result from this exploratory study suggests that the video intervention is suitable for use with African-American men with different health literacy characteristics in two counties in the Greater Florida Panhandle Region. More research is recommended to evaluate the impact of the intervention on mens’ intentions to undergo screening and actual screening behavior.
Health literacy; prostate cancer education; African-American men
Based on the latest available data, African Americans are faced with persistent, or worsening, wide and deep, race-based health disparities compared to the white or general population as we enter the new millennium. These disparities are a 382-year continuum. There have been two periods of health reform specifically addressing the correction of race-based health disparities. The first period (1865-1872) was linked to Freedmen's Bureau legislation and the second (1965-1975) was a part of the Black Civil Rights Movement. Both had dramatic and positive effects on black health status and outcome, but were discontinued too soon to correct the "slave health deficit." Although African-American health status and outcome is slowly improving, black health has generally stagnated or deteriorated compared to whites since 1980. There is a compelling need for a third period of health reform accompanied by a cultural competence movement to address and correct persistent, often worsening, race-based health disparities.
African-American women are disproportionately affected by HIV, accounting for 60% of all cases among women in the United States. Although their race is not a precursor for HIV, the socioeconomic and cultural disparities associated with being African American may increase their risk of infection. Prior research has shown that interventions designed to reduce HIV infection among African-American women must address the life demands and social problems they encounter. The present study used a qualitative exploratory design to elicit information about strategies to prevent HIV transmission among young, low-income African-American women.
Twenty five low income African American women, ages 18–29, participated in five focus groups of five women each conducted at a housing project in Houston, Texas, a large demographically diverse metropolitan area that is regarded as one of the HIV/AIDS epicenters in the United States. Each group was audiotaped, transcribed, and analyzed using theme and domain analysis.
The participants revealed that they had most frequently placed themselves at risk for HIV infection through drugs and drinking and they also reported drug and alcohol use as important barriers to practicing safer sex. The women also reported that the need for money and having sex for money to buy food or drugs had placed them at risk for HIV transmission. About one-third of the participants stated that a barrier to their practicing safe sex was their belief that there was no risk based on their being in a monogamous relationship and feeling no need to use protection, but later learning that their mate was unfaithful. Other reasons given were lack of concern, being unprepared, partner's refusal to use a condom, and lack of money to buy condoms. Finally, the women stated that they were motivated to practice safe sex because of fear of contracting sexually transmitted diseases and HIV, desire not to become pregnant, and personal experience with someone who had contracted HIV.
This study offers a foundation for further research that may be used to create culturally relevant HIV prevention programs for African-American women.
African Americans; women; HIV; AIDS; Risk behaviors; Intervention.
To examine sociocultural factors that influence an informed decision about colorectal cancer (CRC) screening among African American men and women.
A medical center, a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, and various social organizations and barbershops in a midwestern city of the United States.
A purposive sample of African American women (n = 65) and African American men (n = 64) aged 50 years and older.
Participants completed a self-administered survey.
Main Research Variables
Cultural identity, CRC beliefs, family support, and informed decision.
Family support was positively related to CRC beliefs among participants, and CRC beliefs were positively related to an informed decision. However, among men, family support positively related to an informed decision about CRC screening. In addition, t-test results indicated that the men and women were significantly different. Family support predicted CRC beliefs among men (p < 0.01) and women (p < 0.01). CRC beliefs predicted CRC screening informed decisions among men (p < 0.01) and women (p < 0.05). However, the accounted variance was dissimilar, suggesting a difference in the impact of the predictors among the men and women.
Family support has a significant impact on CRC beliefs about CRC screening among African Americans. However, how men and women relate to the variables differs.
Implications for Nursing
To improve CRC screening rates, informed decision-making interventions for African Americans should differ for men and women and address family support, CRC beliefs, and elements of cultural identity.
Compared to published norms, African Americans endorse significantly more items intended to assess pathological anxiety about contamination on self-report instruments for obsessive-compulsive disorder. The current study suggests this is not due to greater psychopathology in African Americans, but rather to differences in normal attitudes about cleanliness that also influence responses to items intended to assess anxiety pathology. Contamination items from OCD scales including the Padua Inventory (Behav Res Ther. 26:2 (1988) 169) were supplemented with cleanliness attitude items and administered to Black and White participants (N=1483). An exploratory factor analysis suggested a three-factor solution: one factor that encompassed pathological anxiety, and two that expressed attitudes about cleanliness, grooming, and domestic animals. African Americans scored significantly higher on all three factors. A confirmatory factor analysis demonstrated that the difference between Black and White participants on the pathological anxiety factor was eliminated when differences on the attitude factors were controlled statistically.
factor analysis; assessment; obsessive-compulsive disorder; ethnic differences; contamination; anxiety; attitudes
To explore colorectal cancer (CRC) screening knowledge, attitudes, barriers, and preferences among urban African Americans as a prelude to the development of culturally appropriate interventions to improve screening for this group.
Qualitative focus group study with assessment of CRC screening preferences.
Community health center serving low-income African Americans.
Fifty-five self-identified African Americans over 40 years of age.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS
Transcripts were analyzed using an iterative coding process with consensus and triangulation on final thematic findings. Six major themes were identified: (1) Hope—a positive attitude toward screening, (2) Mistrust—distrust that the system or providers put patients first, (3) Fear—fear of cancer, the system, and of CRC screening procedures, (4) Fatalism—the belief that screening and treatment may be futile and surgery causes spread of cancer, (5) Accuracy—a preference for the most thorough and accurate test for CRC, and (6) Knowledge—lack of CRC knowledge and a desire for more information. The Fear and Knowledge themes were most frequently noted in transcript theme counts. The Hope and Accuracy themes were crucial moderators of the influence of all barriers. The largest number of participants preferred either colonoscopy (33%) or home fecal occult blood testing (26%).
Low-income African Americans are optimistic and hopeful about early CRC detection and believe that thorough and accurate CRC screening is valuable. Lack of CRC knowledge and fear are major barriers to screening for this population along with mistrust, and fatalism.
colorectal cancer; screening; African American; minority; qualitative