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The aim of this qualitative study was to explore the psychological barriers to and facilitators of undergoing the Hemoccult-II® colorectal cancer screening test in France. Sixty-nine French people aged 50 to 74 years were divided into seven qualitative focus groups. Three issues were discussed with participants: knowledge and beliefs about colorectal cancer screening; facilitators of colorectal cancer screening by Hemoccult-II®; barriers to colorectal cancer screening by Hemoccult-II®. All the discussions were led by two psychologists and were recorded, transcribed verbatim and analyzed using qualitative data analysis software. Correspondence factor analyses identified three dimensions for each topic. The main psychological facilitators of colorectal cancer screening were: information about colorectal cancer screening, perceived simplicity of using Hemoccult-II®, and perception of risk. Uncertainty about the reliability of Hemoccult-II®, health anxiety, and embarrassment emerged as the main barriers to colorectal cancer screening. Cross-sectional analyses identified the differences between the views expressed by women and men. Women appeared more embarrassed about Hemoccult-II® and men seemed to be more worried about colorectal cancer. This preliminary study suggests that psychological factors play an important role in colorectal cancer screening by Hemoccult-II®. This finding may help health organizations to conceive better awareness campaigns to promote colorectal cancer screening in order to reduce the related mortality rate by taking into account psychological determinants.
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