Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School

Health Sciences

Committee Member

Stephen A. Sonstein, PhD, Chair


Background: The rate of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in the United States continues to be low, allowing colorectal cancers to remain undiagnosed and mortality rates to remain high. Current literature points to lack of education, healthcare access, and physician counseling as key barriers to screening, in addition to cognitive-emotional apprehensions.

Objectives: This study examined whether cognitive-emotional apprehensions are barriers to screening despite physician recommendation. Moreover, it examined what particular cognitive-emotional barriers inhibit participation and how these barriers can potentially be alleviated.

Methods: A convenience sample of 40 faculty members at Eastern Michigan University were surveyed about attitudes toward screening.

Results: One half of non-screeners reported that cognitive-emotional apprehensions limited their participation in screening tests. Predictors of adherence included concerns about embarrassment or modesty, concerns about test preparation, fear of pain, and fear of finding cancer.

Conclusions: Cognitive-emotional apprehensions are significant barriers to CRC screening and may be improved by patient counseling.