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J Natl Med Assoc. 2006 Aug;98(8):1286-95.

Knowledge, beliefs and barriers associated with prostate cancer prevention and screening behaviors among African-American men.

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  • 1Department of Human Sciences, North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC 27707, USA.


African-American men have the highest prostate cancer rates worldwide, and innovative efforts are needed to increase cancer prevention and screening behaviors among this population. Formative research was conducted to assess attitudes and behaviors linked to prostate cancer prevention activities that could be used to develop a culturally relevant intervention for an African-American church-based population. Four gender-specific focus groups were conducted with 29 men and women at two African-American churches in central North Carolina. Three primary themes emerged from the focus group discussions: culturally and gender-influenced beliefs and barriers about cancer prevention and screening; barriers related to the healthcare system: and religious influences, including the importance of spiritual beliefs and church support. These discussions revealed the importance of the black family, the positive influence of spouses/partners on promoting cancer screening and healthy behaviors, the roles of faith and church leadership, and beliefs about God's will for good health. These findings also revealed that there are still major barriers and challenges to cancer prevention among African Americans, including continued mistrust of the medical community and negative attitudes toward specific screening tests. Findings provide important insights to consider in implementing successful prostate cancer prevention interventions designed for church-based audiences.

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