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Researchers find that sociodemographic characteristics are related to a patient's willingness to participate in cancer screenings
Date:3/1/2010

(Boston)- Boston University School of Medicine's (BUSM) researchers have found that sociodemographic characteristics are related to a patients' willingness to participate in cancer screenings. They found this was more important than both attitudinal barriers and medical facilitors. This study appears in the March issue of the Journal of the National Medical Association.

Prior studies have shown that screenings are crucial in identifying cancer in its early stages and minorities have lower screening rates for certain types of cancer, such as cervical and colorectal cancer. Researchers at BUSM were seeking to find out why the screening rates among racial and ethnic minorities vary compared to those of the white, non-Hispanic community.

Researchers examined patients' agreeability to engage in cancer screening, in the context of varied symptoms and screening settings among a diverse group of individuals from multiple geographic areas. The study assessed the influences of race and ethnicity, relative to sociodemographic factors of both positive and negative attitudes and beliefs concerning cancer screening, as well as the willingness to utilize screenings in general.

A random sample was conducted using telephone interviews from three cities: San Juan, Puerto Rico, Baltimore and New York City. Respondents reported their sociodemographic characteristics and attitudes about barriers and facilitators of cancer screenings. These individuals also reported their amenability to have cancer screening within four scenarios: when done in the community as opposed to one's doctors' office and whether or not they had symptoms.

Less-educated individuals with lower incomes received fewer cancer screenings than those with higher levels of each. These rates may lead to disparities in cancer-related mortality. Racial and ethnic minority status, age and lower income were frequently associated with willingness to receiving a cancer screening.
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Contact: Gina DiGravio
gina.digravio@bmc.org
617-638-8480
Boston University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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