Knowledge of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening options remains suboptimal in Black populations, contributing to screening disparities. Guided by community-based participatory research (CBPR) principles, we partnered with five Black churches in Louisville, a region of Kentucky with high Black-white CRC screening disparities, to explore screening barriers and facilitators for CRC education and outreach. Project champions (n = 5) served as primary points of contact, developed project support within their churches, and were trained to recruit church and community members (n = 39) to participate in five semi-structured focus groups. Interview questions probed actual and perceived barriers to CRC screening, focusing on knowledge and perceptions of stool-based tests. Subsequent questions explored perceptions of different screening tests, CRC knowledge and beliefs, and trusted community locations for screening outreach. Transcripts were analyzed iteratively, and codes were derived inductively and refined to develop overarching themes. Participants experienced multilevel barriers to completing CRC screening. Primary themes about CRC screening included acknowledgment of importance, positive and negative personal experiences, need for increased outreach, and desire for greater cultural representation in educational materials. Participants frequently discussed perceptions of inadequate medical care, with most having only ever been offered colonoscopy; subsequently, knowledge of stool-based tests was low. To address this knowledge gap, participants stressed interpersonal communication from trusted individuals, such as local Black medical providers and CRC survivors. Given the low knowledge of stool-based testing among participants and identified inequities in receipt of clinical care, community-based CRC screening interventions are warranted to reduce Black-white CRC screening disparities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1050-1058
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s) under exclusive licence to American Association for Cancer Education.


  • African Americans
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Screening
  • Stool-based screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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