Reasons for declining colorectal cancer screening by older Canadians: a pilot study

J Cancer Educ. Jan-Mar 2008;23(1):32-6. doi: 10.1080/08858190701821188.


Background: Although colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer death in Canada, only 4% to 14% of eligible adults follow screening recommendations. In this pilot study, we explored older Canadians' perception of the barriers and enabling factors associated with CRC screening participation.

Methods: Interviews from 100 participants, age 50 through 90 years, were analyzed using a mixed qualitative and quantitative methods approach. We used constant comparative analysis, Pearson chi2, and Fisher's exact probability tests.

Results: Themes impacting screening participation included physician screening recommendations, reasons for declining screening, surprise at CRC information, and barriers to understanding cancer information.

Conclusion: Education emphasizing the importance of early detection through screening is needed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Canada
  • Colonoscopy / psychology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / psychology
  • Female
  • Health Education
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Pilot Projects