Date of Conferral





Public Health


Lee Caplan


Colorectal cancer (CRC) represents a public health issue that may be prevented using the screening strategy. Black people in Africa represent the population with the lowest risk for CRC. However, in Africa as well as the United States, Black people participate the least in CRC screening. Little is known about the perceptions of CRC and CRC screening in the Black, male, African immigrants residing in Baltimore, Maryland. The low participation in CRC screening in this population was the problem addressed by this dissertation. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore and describe Black, male, African immigrants’ experience with CRC screening in Baltimore. Two research questions focused on understanding the meaning of CRC and describing the experience with CRC screening in this population. The health belief model served as a conceptual framework. The descriptive phenomenological approach was used using semistructured interviews with 8 participants. Data collected from eligible participants in the population of interest were transcribed and analyzed thematically using Colaizzi’s 7-step strategy. Three key findings from this study included the limited knowledge of CRC, the limited perceived barriers to CRC screening, and the high level of trust in health care providers of the participants. Fear of results and negative cultural beliefs about CRC screening were no barriers to the screening. The recommendations for future studies include the consideration of the female population and the inclusion of participants resident in Baltimore for fewer than 6 months. The implications for a positive social change include the improvement of CRC awareness and physician-patient conversations, as well as the development of policies that can facilitate access to health care.