Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 302–309 | Cite as

Why are Korean American Physicians Reluctant to Recommend Colorectal Cancer Screening to Korean American Patients? Exploratory Interview Findings

  • Angela M. Jo
  • Annette E. Maxwell
  • Albert J. Rick
  • Jennifer Cha
  • Roshan Bastani
Original Paper

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Colorectal cancer Cancer screening Korean Americans Physician barriers Physician recommendation 

Notes

Acknowledgements

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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angela M. Jo
    • 1
  • Annette E. Maxwell
    • 2
  • Albert J. Rick
    • 3
  • Jennifer Cha
    • 2
  • Roshan Bastani
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Family Medicine, David Geffen School of MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Division of Cancer Prevention & Control Research, School of Public Health/Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer CenterUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.School of MedicineLoma Linda UniversityLoma LindaUSA

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