Thumbnail Image

Increasing Practitioner Awareness of Racial Variations in Colorectal Cancer Screening Recommendations in African Americans

Background: According to the Center for Disease Control (2014), colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. African Americans are more likely to be diagnosed and die from this form of cancer than any other racial group. Methods: This quality improvement project focused on educating providers on the importance of recommending colorectal cancer screening for African Americans staring at 45 years of age. A group of seven health care providers who provide health care services to active duty soldiers, dependents, retirees, and government employees were exposed to an educational session based on a toolkit developed by the American College of Gastroenterology. A repeated measure (paired t-test) determined if differences in knowledge after exposure to the educational toolkit were significant from pre-test scores. Results: Based on a 100 percent point scale, participants scored an average of 49% before exposure to the training and an average of 86% after attending the training session. A repeated measure t-test determined that the 37% increase between pre-tests and post-test scores was statistically significant (t=13.0, p=.0001). Participants strongly agreed that the training was useful for increasing knowledge of evidence-based CRC screening recommendations in African Americans. Conclusion: The training session were effective in increasing the knowledge of colorectal cancer screening for African Americans. Post-test findings suggest that the session met the goal of increasing awareness of early colorectal cancer detection for African-Americans. This quality improvement project can serve as a foundation for increasing provider awareness and knowledge of colorectal cancer screening in African Americans age 45-49 in other clinical settings. Key Words: Colon Cancer, Screening, African America