Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 975–982 | Cite as

Effect of Tribal Language Use on Colorectal Cancer Screening Among American Indians

  • Angela A. Gonzales
  • Eva Garroutte
  • Thanh G. N. Ton
  • Jack Goldberg
  • Dedra Buchwald
Original Paper


American Indians have one of the lowest colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates for any racial/ethnic group in the U.S., yet reasons for their low screening participation are poorly understood. We examine whether tribal language use is associated with knowledge and use of CRC screening in a community-based sample of American Indians. Using logistic regression to estimate the association between tribal language use and CRC test knowledge and receipt we found participants speaking primarily English were no more aware of CRC screening tests than those speaking primarily a tribal language (OR = 1.16 [0.29, 4.63]). Participants who spoke only a tribal language at home (OR = 1.09 [0.30, 4.00]) and those who spoke both a tribal language and English (OR = 1.74 [0.62, 4.88]) also showed comparable odds of receipt of CRC screening. Study findings failed to support the concept that use of a tribal language is a barrier to CRC screening among American Indians.


American Indians Native Americans Culture Language Colorectal cancer Cancer Screening 



This research was supported in part by Native People for Cancer Control, a Community Networks Program sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (D. Buchwald, 1U01CA114642); the Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research Native Investigator Program, sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (S. Manson, P30AG/15297); the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (S. Manson, P01 HS10854); and the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities (S. Manson, P60 MD000507). We also wish to express our appreciation to Lorencita Joshweseoma, Director, Hopi Department of Community Health Services, for her support and assistance with data collection and Dr. Sheilah Nicholas from the University of Arizona, Department of Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies, for her expertise on the meaning and use of the Hopi language.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angela A. Gonzales
    • 1
  • Eva Garroutte
    • 2
  • Thanh G. N. Ton
    • 3
  • Jack Goldberg
    • 4
    • 5
  • Dedra Buchwald
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Development SociologyCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyBoston CollegeBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Neurology, School of MedicineUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  4. 4.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  5. 5.Seattle VA Epidemiologic Research and Education CenterSeattleUSA
  6. 6.Department of MedicineUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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