Background: An explanatory framework referred to as the Preventive Health Model was used to identify factors associated with prospective adherence to colorectal cancer screening.
Methods: Data on sociodemographic, psychosocial, social influence, and program factors were collected via telephone survey for 501 older adult members of an independent practice association-type health maintenance organization. Subjects were later mailed fecal occult blood tests for completion and return. Adherence was defined as the return of the tests within 90 days.
Results: Structural analysis shows that for men (N = 145), perceived self-efficacy (OR = 1.4), salience and coherence of testing (OR = 2.3 for a 5-point increment on a 30-point scale), and exposure to health education interventions (OR = 6.8) were significant independent predictors of intention to adhere and of adherence. Among women (N = 185), predictors were age (OR = 1.8) and salience and coherence of testing (OR = 1.8 for a 5-point increment on a 30-point scale).
Conclusions: These findings indicate that for both men and women, adherence is influenced strongly by the extent to which the behavior is judged to make sense in everyday life. It also appears that additional education and encouragement may persuade men and younger women to participate in screening.