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Cancer Screening Practices Among Amish and Non-Amish Adults Living in Ohio Appalachia

Katz, Mira L., Ferketich, Amy K., Paskett, Electra D., Harley, Amy, Reiter, Paul L., Lemeshow, Stanley, Westman, Judith A., Clinton, Steven K., Bloomfield, Clara D.
Journal of rural health 2011 v.27 no.3 pp. 302-309
adults, breasts, females, interviews, males, prostatic neoplasms, risk perception, screening, Appalachian region, Ohio
Purpose: The Amish, a unique community living in Ohio Appalachia, have lower cancer incidence rates than non-Amish living in Ohio Appalachia. The purpose of this study was to examine cancer screening rates among Amish compared to non-Amish adults living in Ohio Appalachia and a national sample of adults of the same race and ethnicity in an effort to explain cancer patterns. Methods: Face-to-face interviews focusing on perception of risk, cancer screening behaviors, and screening barriers were conducted among Amish (n = 134) and non-Amish (n = 154) adults living in Ohio Appalachia. Cancer screening rates were calculated and then compared to a national sample of adults. Findings: More Ohio Appalachia non-Amish males (35.9% vs 14.5%; P= .022) and females (33.3% vs 12.5%; P= .008) reported that they would probably develop cancer in the future compared to Amish males and females. Amish adults had significantly lower prostate (13.5% vs 63.1% vs 44.6%; P < .001), colorectal (males: 10.3% vs 40.0% vs 37.2%, females: 8.6% vs 31.6% vs 42.9%; P < .001), cervical (48.0% vs 84.0% vs 80.0%; P < .001), and female breast (24.8% vs 53.7% vs 56.9%; P < .05) cancer screening rates compared to Ohio Appalachia non-Amish participants and a national sample of adults, respectively. Barriers to cancer screening were similar among the 2 Ohio groups; however, Amish males reported that prostate cancer screening was not necessary more often than did Ohio Appalachia non-Amish males (78.6% vs 16.7%; P= .003). Conclusions: Lower rates of cancer screening were documented among the Amish and may be a contributing factor to the reduced cancer incidence rates reported among this population.