Koreans’ Awareness and Preventive Behaviors Regarding Colorectal Cancer Screening

Document Type : Research Articles


Department of Nursing, Chosun University, 309 Pilmun-daero, Dong-gu, Gwangju, 501-759 Republic of Korea.


Background: Koreans in the Republic of Korea had high incidence and mortality rates of colorectal cancer (CRC),
late stage of CRC diagnosis, and low CRC screening. The purpose of this study was to gain a more thorough understanding
of CRC awareness, preventive behaviors, and preferred strategies to improve CRC screening behaviors among Koreans.
Methods: Individual interviews with 33 Koreans aged 50 and older were conducted using semi-structured, open-ended
questions. All interview data were recorded and analyzed using direct content analysis. Results: To prevent CRC,
all participants focused on primary prevention including healthy lifestyle more than secondary prevention such as
screening. Motivators of CRC screening were (a) symptoms, (b) being scared by acquaintances with CRC, (c) being
healthy for the family, (d) others’ recommendations, and (f) annual fecal occult blood test (FOBT) in the National Cancer
Screening Program. Barriers to CRC screening were (a) no symptom, (b) discomfort on test procedure, (c) lack of
knowledge, (d) low perceived risk of developing CRC, (e) mistrust in CRC screening tests or health care providers, (f)
fear of CRC diagnosis, (g) embarrassment, and (h) colonoscopy was a follow-up test in the National Cancer Screening
Program. Participants suggested preferred strategies using various information delivery methods. Conclusions: This
study suggests that we should provide accurate knowledge, emphasize importance of secondary prevention, enhance
motivators and decrease barriers, and use multilevel approach incorporating preferred strategies to improve CRC
screening behaviors among Koreans.


Main Subjects