Barriers to Cancer Prevention in the Older Person

Published in: Comprehensive Geriatric Oncology / Edited by L. Balducci, G.H. Lyman, and W.B. Ershler. (Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1998), p. 351-361

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 1997

by Sarah Fox, Richard G. Roetzheim, Raynard Kington

Barriers to cancer screening are numerous and include both immutable barriers, such as a patient's low income, as well as more mutable barriers; fortunately, most barriers are potentially mutable ones. These encompass, among others, doctor-patient communication patterns, inadequate and inaccurate health information, attitudinal barriers such as patient anxiety, and community barriers, such as the lack of a provider reminder system to patients that prompts compliance. One of the easiest enablers of patient screening to implement is for clinicians to communicate their enthusiastic belief in screening to their older patients. Numerous studies now have documented the effectiveness of the physician's role in increasing patient compliance with screening guidelines.

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