Background: In the United States, blacks and Hispanics have lower cancer screening rates than whites have. Studies on the screening behaviors of minorities are increasing, but few focus on the factors that contribute to this discrepancy. This study presents the self-reported willingness by blacks, Puerto Rican Hispanics, and non-Hispanic whites to participate in cancer screenings in differing cancer screening situations. Methods: The Cancer Screening Questionnaire (CSQ), a 60-item questionnaire, was administered via random-digit-dial telephone interviews to adults in three cities: Baltimore, Maryland; New York, New York; and, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Results: The 1,148 participants in the CSQ study sample consisted of 355 blacks, 311 Puerto Rican Hispanics, and 482 non-Hispanic whites. Response rates ranged from 45% to 58% by city. Multivariable logistic regression analyses revealed that blacks and Puerto Ricans were often more likely (OR 2.0-3.0) and never less likely than whites to self-report willingness to participate in cancer screenings regardless of who conducted the cancer screening, what one was asked to do in the cancer screening, or what type of cancer was involved (with the exception of skin cancer where blacks, compared with whites, had an OR of 0.5). Conclusions: The findings from this study provide evidence that blacks and Hispanics self-report that they are either as willing or more willing than whites to participate in cancer screening programs.
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