Colonoscopy-specific fears in African Americans and Hispanics

Sarah J. Miller, Steven H. Iztkowitz, William H. Redd, Hayley S. Thompson, Heiddis B. Valdimarsdottir, Lina Jandorf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Although fears of colonoscopy may deter African Americans and Hispanics from having a screening colonoscopy, little is known about these fears. This study examined the proportion of African Americans and Hispanics who experience colonoscopy-specific fears and identified factors associated with these fears. Data were collected at an academic hospital in New York City between 2008-2010. African Americans (N = 383) and Hispanics (N = 407) who received a recommendation for a screening colonoscopy completed a questionnaire that assessed: colonoscopy-specific fears, demographics, and psychological variables. Presence of colonoscopy-specific fears was endorsed by 79.5% of participants. Being female (p < 0.001), speaking English (p < 0.001), having greater perceived risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) (p < 0.01), greater worry about risk of CRC (p < 0.01), greater fear of CRC (p < 0.001) and lower levels of self-efficacy of having a colonoscopy (p < 0.01) were associated with greater colonoscopy-specific fears. Results can inform interventions designed to assuage fears in African Americans and Hispanics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-48
Number of pages8
JournalBehavioral Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 3 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Colorectal cancer prevention
  • fears
  • screening colonoscopy


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