Colorectal cancer knowledge is not associated with screening compliance or intention

J Cancer Educ. 2009;24(3):225-32. doi: 10.1080/08858190902924815.


Background: Increasing colorectal cancer (CRC) screening is a public health goal. We hypothesized that non-compliant, average risk women would demonstrate low levels of CRC knowledge and underestimate their CRC risk.

Methods: Participants identified prior to routine gynecological visits completed a survey assessing demographics, CRC knowledge, risk perception, and screening intention.

Results: The 318 participants demonstrated high levels of CRC knowledge. The majority estimated their risk incorrectly and had no intention of screening participation in the future. There were no consistent relationships between knowledge, risk perception, and screening intent.

Conclusions: Knowledge alone is an inadequate stimulus of screening adherence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance / psychology*
  • Patient Compliance / statistics & numerical data
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Risk Factors