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Cancer Control Research

5R21CA128779-02
Manne, Sharon L.
COUPLE-BASED INTERVENTION FOR COLORECTAL CANCER SCREENING

Abstract

DESCRIPTION (provided by investigator): While uptake rates for colorectal cancer screening (CRCS) have been increasing, participation in screening remains relatively low. Novel approaches for improving CRCS need to be developed. A number of individually-focused interventions have been developed for individuals who are not compliant with CRCS. Although some of these interventions have reported significant effects upon CRCS, other studies have not reported significant effects. One possible limitation of individual-level interventions is that they do not take advantage of the social context in which most health behavior occurs. The marital relationship is an example of a social context factor that has not been incorporated into CRCS intervention efforts. In the proposed study, we seek to develop an innovative, couple-based intervention (CBI) whose goal is to increase uptake of CRCS among couples in which neither partner is on-schedule with regard to CRCS. We will develop CBI and conduct a pilot and feasibility study. Our intervention is based primarily on the Interdependence Model, which is a dyad-level social psychological theory proposes that partners influence both their own as well as their partner's behavior and that interventions which transform the motivation for health behavior change to ascribe meaning for the relationship should be more successful than interventions that ascribe meaning for the change only for oneself. The goal of CBI is to increase the degree to which couples constructively discuss CRCS and the degree to which couples think about CRCS as important to their relationship. The ultimate goal is to increase participants' uptake of CRCS. We will achieve this goal by conducting two studies. The goal of Study 1 is to refine CBI by conducting interviews with screened and unscreened couples to gather information regarding the role of the marital relationship in colon cancer screening and by having a sample of unscreened couples evaluate the provisional CBI materials we have developed. The goal of Study 2 is to conduct a small-scale pilot study to provide preliminary information regarding the impact of CBI by comparing it with a widely-available pamphlet about CRCS. The primary aim of this study is to develop CBI and evaluate its feasibility and acceptability. The secondary aims are to gather preliminary information regarding the impact of CBI versus Minimal Care (MC) on CRCS and CRCS intentions and to gather preliminary information regarding the impact of CBI versus MC on possible mechanisms of change. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: While uptake rates for colorectal cancer screening have been increasing, participation in screening remains relatively low, particularly in comparison with other cancers and when considering prevention objectives set forth in Healthy People 2010. Novel approaches for improving CRCS need to be developed. In the proposed study, we seek to develop and pilot test an innovative, theoretically-guided, couple-based intervention whose goal is to encourage couples to constructively discuss having CRCS, with the ultimate goal of increasing the uptake of CRCS among couples in which neither partner is on-schedule with regard to CRCS.


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