African American men face the highest rates of prostate cancer, yet with no consensus for screening and treatment, making informed health care decisions is difficult.
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This study aimed to identify approaches to empowering African American men as proactive participants in prostate cancer decision making using an established community-campus partnership employing elements of community-based participatory research methods. Community stakeholders with an interest in, and knowledge about, health care in two local African American communities were recruited and completed key informant interviews (N = 39). Grounded theory coding identified common themes related to prostate cancer knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and responses to them. Common barriers such as gender roles, fear, and fatalism were identified as barriers to work-up and treatment, and both communities' inadequate and inaccurate prostate cancer information described as the key problem. To build on community strengths, participants said the change must come from inside these communities, not be imposed from the outside. To accomplish this, they suggested reaching men through women, connecting men to doctors they can trust, making men's cancer education part of broader health education initiatives designed as fun and inexpensive family entertainment events, and having churches bring community members in to speak on their experiences with cancer. This study demonstrated the success of community engagement to identify not only barriers but also local strengths and facilitators to prostate cancer care in two suburban/rural African American communities. Building collaboratively on community strengths may improve prostate cancer care specifically and health care in general.
Schoenfeld ER, Francis LE. Are you the author?
Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA; Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH, USA.
Reference: Am J Mens Health. 2015 Jan 15. pii: 1557988314566503.