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Development of a Minority Prostate Cancer Research Digest: Communication Strategy Statement for Black Men

Minority populations, particularly Black men, have a greater incidence, prevalence, and mortality rate from prostate cancer than other groups. Because of this, communicating pertinent medical information and disseminating materials specific to Black men is critical to combat this trend.

University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Journalism Professor Kim Walsh-Childers, STEM Translational Communication Center Director Janice Krieger, UF College of Pharmacy Professor Folakemi Odedina and colleagues developed a preliminary Minority Prostate Cancer (MiCaP) research communication strategy and guide using data gathered from African American health experts and a diverse group of Black men to gauge how best to reach that group. The goal is to provide preventative information as well as coping strategies and resources if diagnosed with prostate cancer.

In a series of focus groups, the researchers found that Black men, in general, did not feel well informed about health issues generally, and prostate cancer in particular. In some cases,  men believe they are informed without realizing how much information they lack.  In addition, Black men want to be empowered with preventative health information, but the fear of potentially life-altering and/or terminal diseases leads to a sense of denial and an overwhelming urge to remain in the dark.

Focus group participants said they wanted information about prevention, post-diagnosis treatment, and quality of life issues. According to the research article, “A theme emerged of wanting information that empowers them, that gives them a sense of having some control over a frightening disease, and of addressing ‘things we can change.’”

The research showed that Black men prefer to receive medical information through doctors, church leaders, prostate cancer survivors and wives and girlfriends. In the absence of personal communication, participants said video formats, especially online in websites or shared through social media like Facebook or Twitter, would work well for younger Black men.

The researchers emphasize that communication needs to be culturally tailored to Black men’s beliefs and concerns if they are to be effective and bridge the information gap.

Future research will encompass a larger sample size to be more representative of the Black community. In addition, an intervention trial to test the efficacy of the communications strategy will help to confirm the usefulness of the approach.

The original article, “Development of a Minority Prostate Cancer Research Digest: Communication Strategy Statement for Black Men,” was published in the Journal of Cancer Education on July 7, 2020.

 Authors: Folakemi T. Odedina, Kim Walsh-Childers, Mary Ellen Young, Ernest Kaninjing, Janice Krieger, Deidre Pereira5, Getachew Dagne, Nissa Askins, Parisa Fathi.

 This summary was written by Dana Hackley, Ph.D.

Posted: September 10, 2020
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