Date of Conferral





Health Services


Earla J. White


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a primary cause of cancer-related mortality in the United States. Asian Americans have the highest CRC mortality rates. CRC screening tests can reduce CRC incidence, yet Asian Americans, specifically the subgroup of Vietnamese Americans, underuse CRC screening. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand why Vietnamese Americans, ages 50 to 75, underuse CRC screening. The health belief model constructs of susceptibility, severity, benefits, barriers, and self-efficacy were the framework for understanding this population's health-related behaviors. Three research questions focused on how knowledge, language, and cultural beliefs and perceptions affect Vietnamese Americans' CRC screening decisions. Interviews were conducted with 11 participants, and transcribed interview responses were input into NVivo 11 software to maintain a reliable database and to identify emerging themes. Key study findings revealed knowledge and English language gaps as well as adverse cultural perceptions of fear and doubt that influenced CRC screening choices among these 11 Vietnamese Americans. Future researchers might focus on cultural-tailored strategies to minimize these barriers for Vietnamese Americans. An understanding of this study population's perspectives offers the promise of positive social change for health services and public health administrations to develop cultural-tailored interventions that promote healthy lifestyles, prevention, early CRC detection and, consequently, reduce mortality rates and associated health care costs.