Author ORCID Identifier

Dinkel -

Ratnapradipa -

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Compared to urban residents, rural populations are less likely to engage in colorectal cancer (CRC) screening. As part of a statewide cancer needs assessment, we aimed to elicit rural perspectives about CRC screening and resources. We conducted three focus groups with rural Nebraska cancer survivors and caregivers (N = 20) in Spring 2021 using a collective case study design. Participant awareness of and knowledge about CRC screening methods varied across focus groups; overall, 95% of participants had heard of colonoscopy. Participants were less familiar with fecal tests and had confusion about them. Colonoscopy was associated with negative perceptions regarding the time, cost, and discomfort of the preparation and procedure, but some providers did not discuss alternative methods unless the patient resisted colonoscopy. Healthcare providers played a key role educating rural communities about CRC screening recommendations (age, risk) and testing options and being persistent in those recommendations. CRC awareness campaigns should include a variety of communication channels (TV, radio, billboards, health fairs, churches, healthcare settings). Promotion of CRC screening should include education about screening age guidelines, alternative test types, and informed decision-making between provider and patient regarding preferred screening methods based on the pros and cons of each test type. Individuals with a family history of colon issues (Crohn’s disease, CRC) are considered high risk and need to be aware that screening should be discussed at earlier ages.


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Journal Title

Journal of Cancer Education

Included in

Biomechanics Commons