Ambivalence and its influence on participation in screening for colorectal cancer

Candice Oster, Ian Zajac, I Flight, Elizabeth Hart, Graeme Young, Carlene Wilson, Deborah Turnbull

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most prevalent cancers worldwide, and an ideal target for early detection and prevention through cancer screening. Unfortunately, rates of participation in screening are less than adequate. In this article we explore why people who were offered a fecal immunochemical test for CRC decided to participate or not, and for those who did participate, what influenced them to take action and complete the test. We conducted four focus groups and 30 telephone interviews with 63 people. The main reason people decided to screen was "wanting to know" their CRC status, which operated on a continuum ranging from wanting to know, through varying degrees of ambivalence, to not wanting to know. The majority of participants expressed ambivalence about CRC screening, and the main cue to action was the opportunity to screen without being too inconvenienced.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1188-1201
    Number of pages14
    JournalQualitative Health Research
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013


    • cancer, screening and prevention
    • focus groups
    • interviews
    • qualitative analysis
    • risk, perceptions
    • self-care


    Dive into the research topics of 'Ambivalence and its influence on participation in screening for colorectal cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this