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Objective risk, subjective risk, and colorectal cancer screening among a clinic sample

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Among cancers, colorectal (CRC) is the third most incident and the second most lethal. Although screening for the disease has been shown to be effective in reducing morbidity and mortality, screening rates remain low. Risk of disease has been shown to increase screening uptake, but different types of risk may influence intent to screen, screening in a timely manner, or participating in screening at all. A cross-sectional design was used to select a diverse sample of CRC asymptomatic patients 50 or more years of age (N = 104) visiting one of three Midwestern medical clinics. Results showed a positive relationship between receipt of CRC screening and planning to screen for CRC in the future. Objective risk factors (personal/family history and having a primary care physician) were associated with CRC screening uptake and screening within the time intervals recommended by professional screening guidelines, but subjective risk did not obtain significance for screening participation. Both objective (primary care physician) and subjective risk (long-term comparative risk, knowledge) were associated with future plans to screen. Findings suggest that CRC screening behaviors may be differentially influenced by type of risk.
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Keywords: Colorectal cancer screening; intent; objective risk; subjective risk

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Center for Patient Care & Outcomes Research, 2: Center for Patient Care & Outcomes Research,Division of General Internal Medicine, 3: Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital and Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA 4: Department of Medicine, Evanston Northwestern Health Care, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Evanston, Illinois, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2007

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