Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Hilda Shepeard


African American (AA) men in the state of Alabama are affected by colorectal cancer (CRC) more than all other races. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to gain understanding of colorectal cancer screening health benefits in AA men in Mobile, Alabama. The health beliefs model (HBM) developed by Hochum, Rosemstock, and Kegels was used to to explore the barriers and facilitators to CRC screening in AA men with health insurance in Mobile, Alabama. The research questions explored knowledge, perceptions, and facilitators to CRC screening among AA men age 40 to 75. Participants were selected using purposive sampling and data were collected through face-to-face individual interviews with 13 participants living in Mobile, Al. Data were inductively coded and subjected to a thematic analysis procedure. The study findings revealed that participants had a general knowledge of cancer but a low awareness of CRC screening. Findings also revealed a perceived gap in CRC screening education from participants' doctors. Few reported understanding or remembering a conversation about the need for CRC screening during their last doctor's visit. There was no indication that age or level of education played a meaningful role in participants' knowledge or perception of CRC screening requirements. Positive social change implications stemming from this study include recommendations to Alabama public health officials and policy makers to invest in the development of intervention and education efforts to increase CRC screening among AA men, which in turn, may reduce CRC related morbidity and mortality.