Background: This study was designed to identify factors that predict adherence by African American men to prostate cancer education and early detection.
Methods: In the spring of 1995, the authors identified 548 African American men who were patients at the University Health Services of the University of Chicago, were ages 40-70 years, and did not have a personal history of prostate cancer. Baseline telephone survey data were collected from 413 men (75%). Participants were randomly assigned to either a minimal or an enhanced intervention group. Men in the former group were mailed a letter and a reminder that invited them to a urology clinic for prostate cancer education and early detection. Men in the enhanced intervention group were sent the same correspondence and were also given print material and telephone contacts, which were tailored to each recipient.
Results: Adherence was significantly higher (OR = 2.6, CI: 1.7-3.9) in the enhanced intervention group than in the minimal intervention group (51% and 29%, respectively). Men who were age 50 years or older (OR = 1.7, CI: 1.1-2.8), were married (OR = 1.8, CI: 1.2-2.9), believed that prostate cancer early detection examination should be performed in the absence of symptoms (OR = 2.3, CI: 1.3-4.0), and self-reported an intention to have an early detection examination (OR = 1.9, CI: 1.2-2.9) were also more likely to adhere.
Conclusions: A tailored behavioral intervention can influence adherence to prostate cancer early detection among African American men. Individual background and cognitive and psychosocial characteristics may also affect behavior. Future studies should assess the impact of this type of intervention on cognitive and psychologic correlates of decision-making and behavior along the continuum of prostate cancer care. [See editorial on pages 1-2, this issue.]