An analysis of adult African American men's perceived susceptibility of prostate cancer and perceived benefits and barriers to participation in early detection methods : implications for community-based health promotion
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The purpose of this research study was to investigate how adult African American men perceive their susceptibility (risk) of prostate cancer, benefits of screening, and barriers to participation in early detection methods. More importantly, this study examined differences in perceptions across six selected demographic variables (age, education level, household income, relationship status, geographic location, and family medical history). Data for this quantitative study includes 226 African American males, 18 years of age and older, recruited from religious organizations in urban, suburban and rural Illinois. The study sample was described using measures of central tendency (mean) and dispersion (standard deviation and range) for continuous-scaled variables and frequency and percentiles for categorical-scaled variables. Independent-samples t tests were used to examine family medical history and relationship status. Analysis of variance was used to determine whether perceptions differed significantly across the variables. Statistically significant ANOVA results were followed by Bonferroni adjusted independent-samples t tests to determine statistical differences between the variables. The findings indicate significant differences in perceived susceptibility (risk) of prostate cancer, benefits of screening, and barriers to participation in early detection methods across all the demographic variables examined. Additional findings suggest that a perceived lack of knowledge regarding early detection methods (84.1%, n=190) and perceived embarrassment of rectal examinations (72.5%, n=164) may negatively influence future screening intention among African American men, despite a fundamental study finding that reveals that 90.7% (n=205) of the participants agree that talking to someone who has undergone a DRE or PSA test would help dispel negative thoughts about prostate cancer screening. This finding supports existing literature on African American health behavior and advances the application of community-based health promotion. Self-directed learning is critical to the endurance of African American men. With the rapid changes in health policy and economics that impinge on African American communities, the process of self-reliance for health education will be essential. The adult education literature must inquire about the factors that stimulate self-directed learning among African American men and explore questions regarding the cultural inclusivity of African American men in the self-directed learning paradigms.