Colorectal Cancer (CRC) incidence and mortality rates are highest in African Americans (AA's) compared with all other ethnic groups. One factor that may contribute to this trend is the lower rate of participation in CRC screening among AAs, which is critical to the prevention and early detection of CRC. Recent data indicate that the removal of precancerous polyps (via colonoscopy) decreases CRC incidence by 75-90 percent. Despite the implementation of national policy changes to increase CRC screening (through Medicaid/Medicare reimbursement for CRC screening and easier """"""""open"""""""" access to colonoscopy) adherence remains alarmingly low. Our preliminary data show that, even after implementation of standard patient navigation (SPN) (i.e., assisting patients with making/keeping their appointments), only 40 percent of low-income minorities followed-through on their physician recommendation. Guided by Cognitive-Behavioral Social Learning Theory as a conceptual framework and cultural targeting as an intervention strategy, the proposed randomized clinical trial will investigate integrating within SPN a targeted discussion of intrapersonal and cultural barriers to colonoscopy (i.e., fear, lack of knowledge, medical mistrust, fatalism and fear) prevalent with low-income AAs. Based on research on source credibility and reference group-based social identity theory, we will also explore navigator status as a peer on the impact of culturally targeted PN. Thus, we will compare three PN strategies: SPN carried out by a professional navigator, Culturally Targeted PN carried out by a professional (CTPN-Pro) and Culturally Targeted PN carried out by a peer who has undergone colonoscopy (CTPN-Peer).
Specific Aims :
Aim 1 : Compare the efficacy of SPN, CTPN-Pro, and CTPN-Peer on adherence to colonoscopy CRC screening in average risk, low-income AAs who have a primary care physician referral for colonoscopy.
Aim 2 : Explore potential mechanisms (i.e., mediators) underlying the beneficial effects of CTPN-Pro and CTPN-Peer and to examine for whom the CTPN-Pro and CTPN-Peer are most effective (i.e., moderators).
Aim 3 : Compare the cost effectiveness of CTPN-Pro and CTPN-Peer. Cost effectiveness will be examined in terms of direct clinical costs of screening (i.e., savings associated with more efficient use of personnel, space, and equipment) and patient costs (i.e., costs of CRC treatment and the opportunity costs to the patient per life-year saved). Results from the proposed work will facilitate the broad dissemination of PN to reduce ethnic and racial health disparities in CRC incidence mortality and will advance our understanding of PN.
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