Relationships Between Perceived Barriers and Prostate-Cancer Screening in African American Men

Monica Covan, Gardner-Webb University


Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, and prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death among African American men. The literature has revealed that the primary cause of increased mortality rates of prostate cancer in African American men is the lack of participation in prostate-cancer screening activities. This descriptive cross-sectional study identified the relationships between perceived barriers to prostate-cancer screening and actual screening practices among African American men. Using the health belief model as a theoretical construct, current prostate cancer screening practices and perceived barriers to screening were examined in a sample of 30 African American men located in upstate South Carolina. Perceived barriers were measured by Champion's Health Belief Model Scale, and participation in prostate-cancer screening was measured by a history of having a digital rectal exam, a prostate specific antigen test, or both in the preceding 12 months. A greater understanding of perceived barriers to prostate-cancer screening may provide health care professionals with the information they need to implement strategies to address these barriers. The aim is to increase prostate-cancer screening among African American men and ultimately decrease the rate of mortality from prostate cancer. The results of this study may help health care professionals increase prostate-cancer awareness and facilitate education and screening behaviors among African American men through early detection and intervention.