Kerrison RS, Prentice A, Marshall S, Choglay S, Levitan M, Alter M, Ghanouni A, McGregor L & von Wagner C (2021) Ethnic inequalities in older adults bowel cancer awareness: findings from a community survey conducted in an ethnically diverse region in England. BMC Public Health, 21, Art. No.: 513. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-10536-y
To date, research exploring the public’s awareness of bowel cancer has taken place with predominantly white populations. To enhance our understanding of how bowel cancer awareness varies between ethnic groups, and inform the development of targeted interventions, we conducted a questionnaire study across three ethnically diverse regions in Greater London, England.
Data were collected using an adapted version of the bowel cancer awareness measure. Eligible adults were individuals, aged 60+ years, who were eligible for screening. Participants were recruited and surveyed, verbally, by staff working at 40 community pharmacies in Northwest London, the Harrow Somali association, and St. Mark’s Bowel Cancer Screening Centre. Associations between risk factor, symptom and screening awareness scores and ethnicity were assessed using multivariate regression.
1013 adults, aged 60+ years, completed the questionnaire; half were of a Black, Asian or Minority ethnic group background (n = 507; 50.0%). Participants recognised a mean average of 4.27 of 9 symptoms and 3.99 of 10 risk factors. Symptom awareness was significantly lower among all ethnic minority groups (all p’s less than 0.05), while risk factor awareness was lower for Afro-Caribbean and Somali adults, specifically (both p's less than 0.05). One in three adults (n = 722; 29.7%) did not know there is a Bowel Cancer Screening Programme. Bowel screening awareness was particularly low among Afro-Caribbean and Somali adults (both p's less than 0.05). CONCLUSION: Awareness of bowel cancer symptoms, risk factors and screening varies by ethnicity. Interventions should be targeted towards specific groups for whom awareness of screening and risk factors is low.
Cancer; Screening; Pharmacy; Inequalities; Ethnicity
BMC Public Health: Volume 21