Sociodemographic correlates of stage of adoption for colorectal cancer screening in African Americans

Jennifer Christie, Lina Jandorf, Steven Itzkowitz, Ethan Halm, Kim Freeman, Sheba King, Rayhana Dhulkifl, Michelle McNair, Linda Thelemaque, Catalina Lawsin, Katherine Duhamel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objectives: African Americans have the highest incidence and mortality rates from colorectal cancer in the United States. Endoscopic screening, while effective in reducing both, is greatly underutilized. This research sought to understand sociodemographic factors related to stage of readiness for endoscopic screening. Design: One hundred fifty nine African American women (76.1%) and men (mean age=57.0 years) who were non-adherent to endoscopic screening guidelines were recruited and asked to complete semi-structured interviews. Setting: Participants were all being seen for a non-acute primary care medical visit at one of two urban hospitals. The theoretical framework that informed this study was the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) and the emphasis on Stage of Change or intention for undergoing endoscopic screening. Main Outcome and Measures: Based on their stage of readiness to undergo screening, 67 (42%) were categorized as precontemplative (Has no plans to have a colonoscopy) while 92 were categoriezed as being in a contemplative or preparation stage. Using chi-square and Student t-tests, differences were examined between the two groups. Results: No sociodemographic variables distinguished the two groups. However, people in the contemplative/preparation group were more likely to: have a regularly seen healthcare professional (63.7% vs 36.3%; P=.005), have had a previous recommendation for screening (65.7% vs 34.3%; P=.003); had heard of a colonoscopy (63.6% vs 36.4%; P=.000) and have been told by a healthcare professional that they needed a colonoscopy (73.1% vs 26.9%; P=.000). Conclusions: This study helps us to better understand the relevance of sociodemographic characteristics that may be associated with completing endoscopic colorectal cancer screening. In addition, we confirm that physician recommendation and individual awareness of the procedure are significant factors in readiness to get screened.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-329
Number of pages7
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • African Americans
  • Cancer prevention
  • Colorectal cancer screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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