BACKGROUND: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer among Hispanics in the United States (US), yet the use of CRC screening is low in this population. Physician recommendation has consistently shown to improve CRC screening.
OBJECTIVE: To identify the characteristics of Hispanic patients who adhere or do not adhere to their physician's recommendation to have a screening colonoscopy.
DESIGN: A cross-sectional study featuring face-to-face interviews by culturally matched interviewers was conducted in primary healthcare clinics and community centers in New York City.
PARTICIPANTS: Four hundred Hispanic men and women aged 50 or older, at average risk for CRC, were interviewed. Two hundred and eighty (70%) reported receipt of a physician's recommendation for screening colonoscopy and are included in this study.
MAIN MEASURES: Dependent variable: self report of having had screening colonoscopy.
INDEPENDENT VARIABLES: sociodemographics, healthcare and health promotion factors.
KEY RESULTS: Of the 280 participants, 25% did not adhere to their physician's recommendation. Factors found to be associated with non-adherence were younger age, being born in the US, preference for completing interviews in English, higher acculturation, and greater reported fear of colonoscopy testing. The source of colonoscopy recommendation (whether it came from their usual healthcare provider or not, and whether it occurred in a community or academic healthcare facility) for CRC screening was not associated with adherence.
CONCLUSIONS: This study indicates that potentially identifiable subgroups of Hispanics may be less likely to follow their physician recommendation to have a screening colonoscopy and thus may decrease their likelihood of an early diagnosis and prompt treatment. Raising physicians' awareness to such patients' characteristics could help them anticipate patients who may be less adherent and who may need additional encouragement to undergo screening colonoscopy.
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