How African American Men Decide Whether or Not to Get Prostate Cancer Screening

Randy A. Jones, PhD, RN; Richard Steeves, PhD, RN, FAAN; Ishan Williams, PhD


Cancer Nurs. 2009;32(2):166-172. 

In This Article

Recruitment and Data Collection

African American men were recruited from barbershops, churches, community health centers, radio stations that African Americans listen to, and recreational centers in rural localities. The decision to recruit from these areas was based on the authors' previous research experiences[23] with the African American community, particularly African American men, and on conversations with African American community leaders. It has also been reported elsewhere[24] that when investigators place a high value on the importance of including ethnic/racial minority populations in research, they have more success in recruiting minorities. Several proprietors of barbershops and convenience stores, administrators of free clinic health departments, and church ministers were open to the idea of allowing flyers and announcements and recruiting individuals for the research. Participants met the following criteria: (a) aged 40 years or older, (b) self-reported as an African American men, (c) never been diagnosed with prostate cancer, (d) and able to provide informed consent. Interested men contacted the first author, and a time and location convenient for the participant were established to check eligibility and conduct the interview. The University of Virginia's Institutional Review Board for Social and Behavioral Sciences approved the study.

A total of 17 men were interviewed. The men were informed that they would receive $30 for participating in the interviews. A consent form was completed by the participants before the interview began. Individuals generally feel more comfortable talking about their health beliefs, attitudes, and practices when they are in a setting in which they do not feel threatened.[25] Therefore, one-on-one interviews were conducted in private rooms of public libraries, in participants' homes, or in other nonintimidating settings that were convenient to the participants.

A semistructured interview guide that included both closed and open-ended questions were used with each participant. The interview guide was initially created by one of the authors (R.J.) and then was revised and adapted by the other 2 authors (R.S. and I.W.) into a format to assist participants in understanding the questions. The interview focused on understanding how rural African American men decide whether or not to get prostate screening. The questions generated discussion that led to richer information on participants' facilitators and barriers to screening, the role that these played in their healthcare, feelings toward healthcare providers, and their perceptions about prostate cancer screening. The questions asked included as follows: "What are your thoughts or feelings about having health screenings for disease?" A follow-up question was "Who or what was involved in making a decision to have or not to have your prostate checked?" Another question was "How do the words 'prostate cancer' make you feel?" In addition, sociodemographic data (ie, annual household income, type of insurance coverage, and highest level of education) were obtained.


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