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J Health Commun. 2005 Oct-Nov;10(7):651-63.

Literacy and knowledge, attitudes, and behavior about colorectal cancer screening.

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Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-6021, USA.


This cross-sectional survey explored the association between functional health literacy and knowledge of, beliefs and attitudes about, and reported usage of colorectal cancer screening tests. The results indicate that functional health literacy, as assessed by the Short Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (STOFHLA), is not an independent predictor of colorectal cancer screening knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, or behavior. Latino ethnicity and education, however, often predicted screening responses, suggesting that efforts to improve communication about colorectal cancer screening with Latino patients and patients with low education clearly are needed to reduce the disparities in awareness and utilization of colorectal cancer screening tests. This study also explored influences on intended screening behavior. Physician recommendation was found to be a powerful motivator of intention to undergo colorectal cancer screening regardless of literacy level, indicating that interventions aimed at increasing physician recommendation of colorectal cancer screening may be an effective way of increasing screening rates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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