Online Program

Assessing barriers to cancer screening for persons with disabilities

Monday, November 4, 2013

Nicole Cranley, M.S., Department of Behavioral Science and Community Health, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Jamie Pomeranz, PhD, CRC, CLCP, Department of Behavioral Science and Community Health, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Alyssa Coleman, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Krista Wert, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Meera Bhakta, BA, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Allison Reddick, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
CDC estimates that approximately 22% or 50 million Americans experience some form of disability. This number is expected to grow over the next 25 years as the U.S. baby-boomer generation ages and becomes more prone to disabling injuries and illnesses. Unfortunately, persons with disabilities (PWD) represent an underserved population in regards to cancer prevention and treatment. The lack of research in this area was the motivating factor to conduct an exploratory study meant to identify potential barriers and challenges to cancer screening for PWD. Participants were recruited from the Center for Independent Living (CIL), a national organization that provides services to PWD. Participants (n = 45) with varying disabilities were asked to complete a 20-item survey, which contained question about their disability, cancer screening knowledge, and potential barriers. Results indicated that transportation, knowledge of insurance coverage, relationship with healthcare providers, and overall awareness represented cancer screening barriers for this population. Fifty-three percent of respondents indicated a belief that their health care provider was not adequately trained to provide cancer screening to PWD, and 66.7% did not know if they had insurance coverage for cancer screening. Additionally, less than half of participants over the age of 50 had been screened for colorectal, prostate and/or oral cancer. These results indicate that barriers to cancer screening among PWD are multifaceted. Educational intervention for PWD related to screening as well as knowledge of health care services would serve as an important step towards decreasing this health disparity.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify potential barriers to cancer screening for individuals living with a disability.

Keyword(s): Cancer Screening, Disability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a public health doctoral student in social and behavioral sciences. I have been working with Dr. Jamie Pomeranz on cancer screening barriers for disabled individuals. I am planning on conducted my dissertation research on perceptions towards cancer risk factors across various populations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.