Barriers to fecal occult blood testing and sigmoidoscopy among older Chinese-American women

Cancer Pract. 2001 Nov-Dec;9(6):277-82. doi: 10.1046/j.1523-5394.2001.96008.x.


Purpose: This study examined factors associated with fecal occult blood test (FOBT) and sigmoidoscopy screening use among Chinese-American women age 60 years and older.

Description of study: One hundred women were recruited from senior centers in two metropolitan areas on the east coast of the United States. Participants completed a questionnaire that included sections on demographics, health history, health insurance coverage, FOBT and sigmoidoscopy use, common and cultural barriers to colorectal cancer screening, and acculturation.

Results: Logistic regression models found greater acculturation to be a significant predictor of having had a FOBT at least once, and found both greater acculturation and physician recommendation to be significant predictors of having had a sigmoidoscopy at least once. No significant predictors were found for regular adherence to colorectal screening guidelines, which include having undergone an FOBT in the past year and sigmoidoscopy in the past 5 years.

Clinical implications: This study found that older Chinese-American women underuse FOBT and sigmoidoscopy screening, as is recommended by the American Cancer Society colorectal cancer screening guidelines. These findings suggest that cultural factors may influence the initiation of colorectal cancer screening for Chinese-American women but are not predictive of adherence to screening over time. Outreach efforts to promote colorectal cancer screening in this population might target women who are less acculturated to facilitate an initial entry into the Western healthcare system to obtain screening.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asian / psychology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Occult Blood*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Sigmoidoscopy / statistics & numerical data*