Statement of the Problem: Adults, 50 years or older, should have a screening colonoscopy every ten years and fecal immunochemical test (FIT) every year. However, close to 22 million adults between the ages of 50-75 in the U.S. have never been screened for colorectal cancer, which delays treatment and can be fatal if the cancer is not found in time.

Procedure: This study used a descriptive, cross-sectional, survey-based design and a convenience sample of men and women between 45 and 55 years old to assess colorectal screening practices, barriers to screening, and knowledge levels about colorectal cancer screening.

Findings: A total of 161 survey participants, mostly non-Hispanic Caucasian/white females, met the eligibility criteria. Just over half have had a colonoscopy and some before age 50 but sigmoidoscopies and use of home stool blood tests were few. The greatest barriers were no doctor’s order and not being told to get screened and the least were lack of provider and other types of colon exams. Almost half complained that the prep was too painful, unpleasant, or embarrassing. Overall, the barriers were perceived as greater for women than for men. More participants knew about what starting age CRCS is recommended for but there was a significant knowledge deficit related to how often screening should occur, which presents an important opportunity for education.

Conclusions and Recommendations: Colorectal cancer should not be treated any differently than prostate or breast cancer and more public health campaigns are needed to assure patients that screening equals prevention. Automatic reminders to EMRs can serve both, the patient, and the provider. Adding health coaches to the healthcare team permanently will empower patients to take responsibility in their own healthcare and can positively impact health behavior change, including screening adherence.


Joseph Visker

Committee Member

Mary Kramer

Committee Member

Kelly Krumwiede

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Health Science


Allied Health and Nursing



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In Copyright