Thursday, March 25, 2010

Regular care improves cancer prevention

In a recent study, Karen Emmons and Colleagues evaluate colorectal cancer screening behaviors among 695 low-income, multiethnic adults aged 50 years and over who were primarily insured (97%). Provider's recommendation was significantly associated with being up-to-date with colorectal cancer screening. Provider's understanding of patient's social context was assessed by how well participants felt that their provider knew (a) their responsibilities at work, home, or school; (b) their worries about health; and (c) them as a person and their values and beliefs. The level of provider understanding was significantly associated with current screening. Participants who reported that their provider knew them well were significantly more likely to be current with colon cancer screening compared to those who did not. These findings show that when a provider understands their patient's social context (their broader lives, as it were), adherence to colorectal cancer screening improves. Maintaining a regular primary care provider, therefore, can improve colorectal cancer screening rates and significantly further reduce the burden of this cancer on society.

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