Background: Although colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in women, little is known about predictors of adherence to screening.
Methods: A randomly selected sample of 202 predominantly low-income and African-American women were interviewed. Knowledge of, attitudes and beliefs about, and practices related to flexible sigmoidoscopy (FS) screening were assessed.
Results: The majority of participants were in the precontemplation stage of adoption (56%). There were significant differences by stage of adoption for FS beliefs, FS barriers, risk of developing colorectal cancer, worry about getting colorectal cancer, and physician recommendation to get a FS. Predictors of adherence to FS guidelines were perceiving fewer barriers to getting a FS and having a physician recommend a FS.
Conclusion: Seventy-two percent of the women in this study were nonadherent to FS screening guidelines. Psychosocial factors play an important role in screening for colorectal cancer. Ways of reducing barriers and increasing physician recommendations should be explored.
Copyright 2000 American Health Foundation and Academic Press.