Winning Abstracts from the 2009 Medical Student Abstract Competition: Race and Health Care Professional Recommendations for Colorectal Cancer Screening
Authors: Shayna E. Rich, MA; University of Maryland School of Medicine
Colorectal cancer screening rates are lower for African Americans than Whites. It is not clear whether this difference is due to a disparity in patient-health care professional interactions. This study examined whether there is a racial difference in reporting a recommendation for colorectal cancer screening from a health care professional.
A cross-sectional study was performed among 2,723 White and 657 African American Maryland residents age 50 years or older in the 2004 Maryland Cancer Survey, a population-based random digit dial survey on cancer screening and risk behaviors. Respondents were asked whether they had ever received a recommendation from a health care professional for a sigmoidoscopy/colonoscopy or had received a recommendation from a health care professional for a fecal occult blood test (FOBT) in the preceding year, and about their colorectal cancer screening history.
70% reported a recommendation for sigmoidoscopy/colonoscopy from a health care professional (72% of Whites vs. 62% of African Americans, p < 0.001). Among respondents who were not up-to-date with colonoscopy, 34% reported a recommendation in the preceding year for an FOBT. In multivariable analyses, the association between race and health care professional recommendation for sigmoidoscopy/colonoscopy varied by retirement status. The odds of reporting a health care professional recommendation for sigmoidoscopy/colonoscopy among non-retired Whites were significantly greater than those of non-retired African Americans (OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.20-2.03), while the odds among retired Whites were 1.21 times those of retired African Americans but not significantly different (95% CI 0.89-1.64). Reporting of recommendations from health care professionals in the last year for FOBT did not differ significantly between Whites and African Americans among respondents who were not up-to-date with colonoscopy (OR 0.99, 95% CI 0.75-1.30).
White respondents were more likely than African Americans to report ever having received a recommendation for sigmoidoscopy/colonoscopy from a health care professional, especially for non-retired respondents. No such difference existed for recommendation of FOBT in the preceding year.
Students: Join ACP for Free
Benefits of Membership for Students: ACP's free Medical Student Membership includes benefits designed especially to meet students' needs.
Join Now: Sign-up today and begin enjoying the benefits of ACP Medical Student Membership.
Find a Residency
Search ACP's Internal Medicine Residency Database for information on all internal medicine residency programs in the U.S. and Canada. (ACP Members only)
What will you learn from your Annals Virtual Patient?
Annals Virtual Patients is a unique patient care simulator that mirrors real patient care decisions and consequences. CME Credit and MOC Points are available. Start off with a FREE sample case. Start your journey now.
Products and Resources for Patients
ACP has developed easy- to-use materials designed to help educate your patients on self-management of a wide variety of common health conditions. Order yours today!