Increasing prostate cancer awareness in African American men

Oncol Nurs Forum. Jan-Feb 1997;24(1):91-5.


Purpose/objectives: To describe the knowledge base of African American men regarding prostate cancer and evaluate the immediate effects of an educational intervention on short-term knowledge acquisition.

Design: Prospective one group pretest/post-test.

Setting: Church meetings, Salvation Army senior meetings, health fairs, and senior citizens' meetings in the African American community of a large midwestern city.

Sample: Convenience sample of 75 African American men (ages 23-88) who completed a pre- and postintervention questionnaire regarding knowledge and awareness of prostate cancer.

Method: The questionnaire was based on patient education material from the American Cancer Society. The instrument consisted of seven statements related to prostate cancer incidence, risk factors, and detection. Following completion of the preintervention questionnaire, the investigator provided subjects with information on prostate cancer. Subjects were retested.

Main research variables: Knowledge and awareness of prostate cancer including incidence, risk factors, and detection in African American men.

Findings: Correct responses increased from 23% (preeducation) to 64% (posteducation). The three most frequently missed questions on the pretest related to urinary frequency as an early sign of prostate cancer incidence of prostate cancer in African American men, and increased risk among African American men for prostate cancer when compared to Caucasian men. These items remained the three most frequently missed questions on the post-test.

Conclusions: An educational intervention had a positive effect on short-term knowledge and awareness of prostate cancer in African American men. Additional research is necessary to assess long-term retention of information and what effect, if any, increased knowledge has on health behavior.

Implications for nursing practice: Continued efforts are warranted to encourage this high-risk group to participate in prostate screenings. To influence health behavior, patient education and information regarding the incidence and mortality of prostate cancer is critical in this high-risk population.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans / psychology*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / ethnology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sampling Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires