Prostate cancer prevention and early detection decisions among black males less than 40 years old
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The purpose of this study was to determine the factors related to young black men’s intention to screen for prostate cancer as well as their engagement in prostate cancer risk-reduction behaviors. The study tested the significance of the constructs – age, attitude (direct and indirect), social influence, comfortability, cues to action, health screening experiences and knowledge – in predicting young black men’s intention to screen for prostate cancer; as well as the significance of the constructs – age, cues to action, exercise and knowledge – in predicting engagement in prostate cancer risk-reduction behaviors. Demographic/personal factors were also explored in related to the model predictors. Web-based and paper-pencil surveys were administered to 279 black men aged between 18 – 40 years from the Austin area. Three focus groups were conducted to collect information regarding young black men’s behavioral beliefs toward prostate cancer screening as well as their comfortability with prostate examinations. The number of usable surveys was 267. Using direct and indirect measures, the combination of attitude, social influence, comfortability (indirect model), and knowledge explained 41.0 and 43.0 percent of the variance in intention to screen for prostate cancer, respectively; with social influence being the strongest predictor ([Beta]=0.41; p <0.01 for the direct model and [Beta]=0.47 for the indirect model). For the model with prostate cancer risk-reduction as the outcome variable, the model accounted for 10.0 percent of the variance in behavior with only knowledge ([Beta]=0.19; p=0.03) as significant predictor. Interventions that address young black men’s attitude, social influence, comfortability, and knowledge may be necessary to increase young men’s intention to screen for prostate cancer when it is recommended by a physician. Additionally, factors surrounding exercise and knowledge may be important in increasing young men’s engagement in prostate cancer risk-reduction behaviors. Future studies using intention as a predictor of young men’s behavior are needed to assess the influence of intention on prostate cancer screening.