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South Commun J. 2015;80(5):416-432. Epub 2015 Nov 4.

Structuring Health in Colorectal Cancer Screening Conversations: An Analysis of Intersecting Activity Systems.

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Department of Communication, University of Utah.
Cummings, Management Department, University of Utah.
Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of New Mexico, and University of New Mexico Cancer Center.


This study used structurating activity theory to analyze 21 conversations between genetic counselors and individuals at increased risk for familial colorectal cancer (CRC). The qualitative analysis revealed ways elements of family, primary healthcare, cancer prevention and treatment, and other systems emerged in intervention conversations as shaping CRC screening attitudes and behaviors. Results indicate that family stories, norms, and roles are resources for enacting health practices in families and that the authority of healthcare providers is a resource for making screening decisions. Conclusions include practical implications for using findings in clinical applications as well as future research directions to build on this exploratory study.

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