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African American, Black men, colon cancer screening, urban



  1. Sizer, Wilhelmina MSN (DNP student)
  2. Conyers, Yvette DNP (Assistant Professor Nursing)


Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common diagnosed cancer among non-Hispanic Black people in the United States. Alarmingly, this population is also 40% more likely to succumb to the disease. Black men get diagnosed younger, present with late-stage disease, and have poor 5-year survival rates. In total, 42% of the racial disparity is due to differences in screening.


Local Problem: In Rochester, New York, there are eight zip codes where less than 47% of the population completed CRC screening and six zip codes where men have 15% to 49% above expected cases of CRC.


Methods: This qualitative improvement project took place in a barbershop in a zip code with subpar screening rates and higher-than-expected cases of CRC. Black men, 45-75 years of age, not current with CRC screening guidelines were recruited to participate after they received barber services. CRC screening was considered complete once a colonoscopy was scheduled.


Interventions: Colorectal cancer education was provided by a nurse practitioner to barbers, who then provided education to their eligible patrons. After the education, patrons who decided to undergo screening were connected to a local gastroenterology group where a colonoscopy was scheduled.


Results: Thirteen participants agreed to participate in the project. Nine participants scheduled CRC screening, and seven completed the colonoscopy evaluation.


Conclusions: Barbers and nurse practitioners are an ideal partnership when seeking to disrupt the CRC health care disparity. Members of the Black community who may not routinely participate in preventive care can be innovatively educated to improve their health status.