Colorectal cancer screening among Korean American immigrants: Unraveling the influence of culture

Hee Yun Lee, Hyojin Im

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Screening for colorectal cancer (CRC) is underutilized among ethnic minority groups, particularly among Korean American immigrants. To explore the role of cultural and health beliefs in CRC screening, a structured questionnaire was administered to 281 Korean American immigrants aged between 50 and 88 in the New York metropolitan area. Results showed that 20% of the sample had undergone a fecal occult blood test within the past year, and 35% of the respondents had received a sigmoidoscopy and/or colonoscopy within the previous five years. Binary logistic regression analyses revealed significant predictors including health belief constructs, such as perceived seriousness of cancer and confidence in screening uptake, and gender-specific cultural beliefs and attitudes about CRC screening. Perceived helplessness lowered CRC screening among the women, while fatalism lowered it among the men. The findings reinforce a need for cultural- and gender-specific intervention strategies to increase CRC screening in this particularly vulnerable population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)579-598
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of health care for the poor and underserved
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2013


  • Colonoscopy
  • Colorectal cancer screening
  • Culture
  • Fecal occult blood test
  • Health belief model
  • Health disparity
  • Korean american immigrants
  • Sigmoidoscopy


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