Digital rectal examinations and prostate cancer screening: attitudes of African American men

Oncol Nurs Forum. 1995 Sep;22(8):1253-5.


Purpose/objectives: To explore the relationship between attitudes toward digital rectal examination (DRE) and participation in prostate cancer screening among African American men.

Design: Survey.

Setting: Prostate cancer screenings with a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test held at churches with African American members in Detroit, MI.

Sample: 613 African American men between the ages of 40 and 70.

Methods: Self-administered, structured questionnaires examining attitudes toward DRE, past experiences with DRE, and fear of cancer.

Main outcome measures: Willingness to undergo DRE.

Findings: The majority of men who were screened had positive attitudes about DRE. Fear of cancer was associated with negative attitudes toward DRE. DREs were not a deterrent among men who attended the screenings.

Conclusion: Negative attitudes toward DRE do not necessarily deter African American men from participating in prostate cancer screenings.

Implications for nursing practice: Prostate cancer screening programs should attempt to use both DRE and PSA. More reliable prostate cancer indicators are obtained by incorporating DRE with PSA tests.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans / psychology*
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / psychology*
  • Michigan
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Physical Examination / methods
  • Physical Examination / psychology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Socioeconomic Factors