Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening in US Immigrants: A Scoping Review

Published:October 15, 2022DOI:



      Timely colorectal cancer (CRC) screening has been shown to improve CRC-related morbidity and mortality rates. However, even with this preventative care tool, CRC screening rates remain below 70% among eligible United States (US) adults, with even lower rates among US immigrants. The aim of this scoping review is to describe the barriers to CRC screening faced by this unique and growing immigrant population and discuss possible interventions to improve screening.


      Four electronic databases were systematically searched for all original research articles related to CRC screening in US immigrants published after 2010. Following a full-text review of articles for inclusion in the final analysis, data extraction was conducted while coding descriptive themes. Thematic analysis led to the organization of this data into five themes.


      Of the 4637 articles initially identified, 55 met inclusion criteria. Thematic analysis of the barriers to CRC screening identified five unique themes: access, knowledge, culture, trust, health perception, and beliefs. The most cited barriers were in access (financial burden and limited primary care access) and knowledge (CRC/screening knowledge).


      US immigrants face several barriers to the receipt of CRC screening. When designing interventions to increase screening uptake among immigrants, gaps in physician and screening education, access to care, and trust need to be addressed through culturally sensitive supports. These interventions should be tailored to the specific immigrant group, since a one-size-fits approach fails to consider the heterogeneity within this population.


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