The impact of socioeconomic status on perceived barriers to colorectal cancer testing

Aimee S. James, Sandra Hall, K. Allen Greiner, Dan Buckles, Wendi K. Born, Jasjit S. Ahluwalia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Purpose. Colorectal cancer (CRC) screening is effective, but only one-half of age-eligible adults adhere to national guidelines. Lower socioeconomic status (SES) groups are less likely to be screened. Methods. Baseline data from a prospective study were used to examine the associations among CRC screening screening barriers, and SES. A convenience sample of adults (N = 291) aged 40 years and older was recruited from a federally qualified health center. Questionnaires were administered orally and included demographics, health, health behavior, and screening barriers. Results. In logistic regression, having health insurance was associated with greater odds of screening. Bivariate analyses detected few differences in fecal occult blood test (FOBT) barriers, but several endoscopy barriers were more common among the lowest SES groups. For example, fear of injury from endoscopy was more likely among low-income and uninsured participants. Discussion. The impact of SES on cancer screening is complex, but low-SES participants more often reported certain barriers than their higher-SES counterparts. This was more evident for endoscopy than for FOBT. Programs targeted at low-SES patients may need to focus on barriers that are not fully addressed in traditional promotion efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-100
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008


  • Cancer screening
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Underserved populations


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