Doctor-Patient Cancer Screening Communications among Church-based Chinese Adults – The Role of Caregiver Experience and Family History

Document Type : Research Articles


Department of Health Management & Informatics, College of Community Innovation and Education, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, USA.


Objective: Significant gap exists in the literature examining cancer screening communication related factors among Chinese immigrants.  This study examined the role of cancer caregiver experience and family history on doctor-patient cancer screening communication among church-based Chinese adults. Methods: A self-administered survey was conducted among adults from 9 Chinese churches (n=372). Cancer Communication was measured by “Dr. recommended screenings” and “Talked to doctors about cancer screenings”. The survey was developed in English and translated in Chinese. Results: Mean age was 44.31 (SD=14.74), 60% were males, 72% were married, majority had college education (85%), and 17% reported had been a primary cancer caregiver and 54% reported having family cancer history. Cancer caregivers scored higher on doctor-patient cancer communication, as well as cancer knowledge and screening norms.  Participants with family cancer history were also more likely to talk to doctor about screening, as well as perceived higher cancer risk, lower health status, and screening barriers. Multiple regression analyses showed that primary caregiver experience was still a significant predictor on talking to doctors about cancer screenings (OR=2.1; 95%CI=[1.10, 4.01]; p=0.025), yet doctors more like to recommend screening among caregivers became non-significant.  The significant influence of family cancer history on talking with doctors on cancer screenings also disappeared.  Older age (OR=2.52; p=0.006) and being married (OR=2.45; p=0.022) were significant on predicting communication of cancer screenings with doctors. Data also showed that doctors were more likely to recommend cancer screenings to older (OR=2.75, p <.001), married (OR=2.57; p=0.006) adults. Conclusion: Current study calls attentions to primary cancer caregiver experience, family history, age, and marital factors when designing tailored doctor-patient cancer screening communication programs among church-based Chinese to address cancer disparities.


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