Why are Korean American Physicians Reluctant to Recommend Colorectal Cancer Screening to Korean American Patients? Exploratory Interview Findings
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Background Korean Americans have one of the lowest screening rates for colorectal cancer. Although physician recommendation is one of the most important predictors of cancer screening across populations, only few Korean American patients receive such a recommendation. Methods We interviewed 14 Korean American physicians in Los Angeles area who primarily serve Korean Americans to explore why they are reluctant to recommend colorectal cancer screening to their Korean patients. Results Physicians identified barriers attributable to themselves (i.e., lack of knowledge, fear of medicolegal liability), their patients (i.e., patient’s unfamiliarity with the concept of screening), and the health care system (i.e., lack of referral network, poor reimbursement). Discussion Our results suggest the need for multi-faceted interventions directed at the physicians, their patients, and the health care system. Further research is needed to validate our results and to assess the extent to which they apply to physicians from other racial/ethnic groups.
KeywordsColorectal cancer Cancer screening Korean Americans Physician barriers Physician recommendation
Sources of support for this research: grant number U01CA114640 from the Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities/National Cancer Institute; UCA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Foundation Research Fellowship grant; training grant R25 CA 87949 from the National Cancer Institute. The contents of this paper are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the National Cancer Institute.
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