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News

Barriers to colorectal cancer screening in Palestine

This month's issue of the Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology investigates barriers to colorectal cancer screening in Palestine.

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Cultural, religious, and financial barriers can hinder uptake of colorectal cancer screening in Arab communities.

Dr Bashar Qumseya evaluates attitudes and barriers that contribute to the low rate of colorectal cancer screening among Palestinians in the West Bank.

The team performed a national, cross-sectional study of Palestinian adults older than 50 years.

A self-administered questionnaire was developed and validated.

Data were randomly collected in all major districts of the West Bank.

The team's primary outcome was the willingness to undergo colorectal screening.

Multivariable logistic regression models were used to assess the strength of association between the primary outcome and its predictors while controlling for possible confounders.

Of 1601 people approached for an interview, 1352 agreed to participate.

14% said they had been informed about colorectal cancer screening by a physician
Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology

The research team noted that only 14% had undergone colorectal cancer screening, 79% had agreed to take a fecal occult blood test, 67% agreed to a colonoscopy examination, and 81% were willing to undergo colorectal cancer screening if recommended by a physician.

The researchers found that only 14% said they had been informed about colorectal cancer screening by a physician.

Urban residents were more likely to be screened for colorectal cancer than nonurban residents.

Multivariable analysis showed that lack of education beyond elementary school or familiarity with colorectal cancer screening, distrust of Western medicine, religious objection, and finding the test to be embarrassing were all associated with decreased odds of accepting colorectal cancer screening.

Dr Qumseya's team concludes, "Based on a national, cross-sectional study of Palestinian adults, there are many cultural and religious barriers to colorectal cancer screening."

"Improving our understanding of these could increase screening among Arab populations in the Middle East and in Western countries."

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2014: 12(3): 463-469
04 March 2014

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