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BMC Public Health

, 8:34

First Online: 25 January 2008Received: 12 June 2007Accepted: 25 January 2008DOI: 10.1186-1471-2458-8-34

Cite this article as: Robb, K.A., Solarin, I., Power, E. et al. BMC Public Health 2008 8: 34. doi:10.1186-1471-2458-8-34


BackgroundColorectal screening by Flexible Sigmoidoscopy FS is under evaluation in the UK. Evidence from existing cancer screening programmes indicates lower participation among minority ethnic groups than the white-British population. To ensure equality of access, it is important to understand attitudes towards screening in all ethnic groups so that barriers to screening acceptance can be addressed.

MethodsOpen- and closed-ended questions on knowledge about colorectal cancer and attitudes to FS screening were added to Ethnibus™ – a monthly, nationwide survey of the main ethnic minority communities living in the UK Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Caribbean, African, and Chinese. Interviews n = 875 were conducted, face-to-face, by multilingual field-workers, including 125 interviews with white-British adults.

ResultsAll respondents showed a notable lack of knowledge about causes of colorectal cancer, which was more pronounced in ethnic minority than white-British adults. Interest in FS screening was uniformly high >60%, with more than 90% of those interested saying it would provide -peace of mind-. The most frequently cited barrier to screening -in your community- was embarrassment, particularly among ethnic minority groups.

ConclusionEducational materials should recognise that non-white groups may be less knowledgeable about colorectal cancer. The findings of the current study suggest that embarrassment may be a greater deterrent to participation to FS screening among ethnic minority groups, but this result requires exploration in further research.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2458-8-34 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Kathryn A Robb, Ijeoma Solarin, Emily Power, Wendy Atkin and Jane Wardle contributed equally to this work.

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Autor: Kathryn A Robb - Ijeoma Solarin - Emily Power - Wendy Atkin - Jane Wardle


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