Colorectal Cancer Knowledge, Attitudes, Screening, and Intergenerational Communication Among Japanese American Families: An Exploratory, Community-Based Participatory Study
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- Lau, D.T., Machizawa, S., Demonte, W. et al. J Cross Cult Gerontol (2013) 28: 89. doi:10.1007/s10823-012-9184-z
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Adults of Japanese descent (Nikkei) in the United States have higher risk for colorectal cancer (CRC) than their white counterparts. Family norms toward CRC screening may influence screening behaviors of Nikkei adults. This community-based participatory research study explores if mailing educational pamphlets to Nikkei families can influence CRC knowledge, attitudes, and screening adherence; and trigger intergenerational communication about CRC. Among 56 parent-offspring dyads contacted, 24 were eligible (e.g., no prior CRC screening/diagnosis) and were randomized into 3 cohorts defined by the “target recipient(s)” of study pamphlets about CRC screening: parent only, offspring only, and both parent and offspring. Among the 19 completed dyads (79.2 % = 19/24), results showed that CRC knowledge of most pamphlet recipients increased in all cohorts; however, some misinformation and attitudinal barriers persisted. Although some parent-offspring communication about CRC increased after mailing pamphlets to offspring, only spousal communication occurred after mailing pamphlets to parents. Additional benefits were not observed in increasing parental screening intent/behavior after mailing pamphlets to both parent and offspring. At the end, among the 10 parents who reported developing CRC screening intent or having scheduled a CRC screening, 8 attributed to study pamphlets and 2 to communication with their offspring. Self-reported barriers preventing screening and parent-offspring communication about CRC were identified. This exploratory study describes preliminary findings that will inform future research aimed to promote CRC screening and reduce racial/ethnic disparities at the community level by enhancing intergenerational communication among Nikkei families.