Colorectal cancer screening beliefs: Focus groups with first-degree relatives

Susan M. Rawl, Usha Menon, Victoria L. Champion, June L. Foster, Celette Sugg Skinner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

60 Scopus citations


Objectives: The purpose of this paper is to describe the perceived benefits and barriers to colorectal cancer screening reported by first-degree relatives of colorectal cancer patients. Materials and Methods: In this study, the authors used focus groups to identify perceived benefits and barriers to colorectal cancer screening among parents and children of colorectal cancer patients. Four focus groups were conducted with relatives of colorectal cancer patients seen at two university medical centers in the Midwest. The groups ranged in size from five to eight members each and were stratified by gender. Results: Four benefits of colorectal cancer screening were identified by participants: finding colorectal cancer early, decreasing the chances of dying from colorectal cancer, freedom from worry about colorectal cancer, and reassurance that one was cancer-free. Four main barriers were identified that applied to all four types of colorectal cancer screening or to colorectal cancer screening in general. These included inadequate public awareness of colorectal cancer, inconsistent recommendations from health-care providers, concerns about the efficacy of screening tests, and embarrassment. Barriers unique to each screening test also were identified. Conclusions: Understanding individual beliefs about the benefits and barriers to colorectal cancer screening will allow clinicians and researchers to develop effective interventions to increase screening. Results from the focus groups have been used to develop an instrument to measure benefits and barriers to colorectal cancer screening, which now needs to be tested with more culturally and socioeconomically diverse groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-37
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2000



  • Beliefs
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Focus groups
  • Methodology
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Nursing(all)

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