Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Eileen R. Fowles
Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in the United States and confronting its challenges has remained a problem to the United States health sector, especially among outpatient clinics. Guided by health belief model, the purpose of this needs assessment was to identify patients age 50 and older in outpatient clinic located in a large metropolitan city in Texas who should receive information on the need for colorectal cancer screening based on their risk for developing colorectal cancer as outlined by American Cancer Society. A sample of 70 charts of patients age 50-75 years was randomly selected and audited using descriptive statistics. Among the patients aged 50-75 years attending the outpatient clinic, 25.7% were African Americans, 71.4% were Hispanic, and 2.9% were Caucasians; 42.9% were male and 57.1% were female. The rate of colorectal cancer screening was 12.9%, a rate that is lower than the rate for all Texans, which was 54.1% - 59.2%. CRC screening was ordered for 62.9% of all patients; 24.2% of clinic patients were identified as being at high risk for colorectal cancer. The low rate of screening may hamper early detection of colorectal cancer in outpatient clinics setting. It is recommended that the outpatient clinic develop intensive campaign to increase patient awareness about the need for and benefits of colorectal cancer screening, especially for those at high risk for developing colorectal cancer. The findings of this study may raise awareness on the chasm in quality of health care availability and provide insight on colorectal cancer and its prevention.