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Self-Reported Reasons Men Decide Not to Participate in Free Prostate Cancer Screening

Sally P. Weinrich
Martin C. Weinrich
Julie Priest
Cathy Fodi
ONF 2003, 30(1), E12-E16 DOI: 10.1188/03.ONF.E12-E16

Purpose: To determine the reasons why men fail to participate in a free prostate cancer screening.

Design: Survey and secondary analyses using correlational design.

Setting: Community sites in the Southeastern United States.

Sample: The sample (N = 241) ranged in age from 40-68 years. Mean age was 50 years (SD = 7.4). Most of the men were African American (79%) and married (70%). Almost half of the subjects (44%) earned between $9,601 and $25,020 per year.

Method: Telephone survey of men who did not participate in initial prostate cancer screening after educational program.

Main Research Variables: Demographics, self-reported reasons men decided not to participate in a free screening following a prostate cancer educational program, and predictors for subsequent participation in screening.

Findings: The main self-reported reason for not participating in a free prostate cancer screening opportunity was time problems. A significant relationship between income and physician problems existed among the men who did not participate. Twenty-one percent of the 241 men participated in a second opportunity for free prostate cancer screening. Men who cited "lost packet" as their reason for not participating in the first free screening were more than twice as likely to go for the second opportunity for free screening when offered another packet or voucher for a free screening with their physician of choice.

Conclusions: "Time problems" was the most frequent self-reported reason men gave for failure to participate. Providing a follow-up phone call and vouchers a second time for reimbursement of the cost associated with a screening increased participation. Men often need assistance with locating physicians and nurse practitioners who will file for financial reimbursement. Appointment reminders are critical.

Implications for Nursing: The findings of this study of the significant relationship between income and "physician problems" for not participating has implications for healthcare providers. Future programs could provide telephone follow-up with men and remail vouchers, as needed. In addition, men could be encouraged to designate one place in their households for health-related papers (for safekeeping).

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