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Correlates of Actual and Perceived Knowledge of Prostate Cancer Among African Americans

Agho, Augustine O. PhD; Lewis, Marisa A. PharmD, MPH

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While digital rectal examination, prostate-specific antigen, and transrectal ultrasound have been identified as effective means of early detection of prostate cancer, African American men tend to underuse these services as compared to white men. Using a nonrandom sample of 108 African American men, the authors conducted an exploratory investigation of the effects of education, income, age, and health insurance coverage on actual and perceived knowledge of prostate cancer. The extent to which the use of prostate cancer screening services may be attributed to actual and perceived knowledge of prostate cancer was also explored.

Respondents demonstrated a poor knowledge of prostate cancer and less than 40% reported having had prostate cancer screening as part of their annual physical examination. The results of the study also revealed that (a) there was a moderately strong correlation between actual and perceived knowledge of prostate cancer, (b) use of prostate cancer screening service was positively associated with actual and perceived knowledge of the disease, (c) actual knowledge of prostate cancer was negatively correlated with education, age, and income, and (d) actual and perceived knowledge of prostate cancer were both correlated with having health insurance coverage.

From the Division of Health Care Management, School of Allied Health Sciences, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Augustine O. Agho, Division of Health Care Management, School of Allied Health Sciences, Florida A&M University, 223C Ware-Rhaney Building, Tallahassee, FL 32307.

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.