Reasons for non-compliance with screening for infection with Helicobacter pylori, in a multi-ethnic community in Leicester, UK.
Stone MA. Patel H. Panja KK. Barnett DB. Mayberry JF.
Gastrointestinal Research Unit, Leicester General Hospital.
In this study, we aimed to identify reasons for non-compliance with a screening programme for Helicobacter pylori (H pylori), in a multi-ethnic community and to assess the effectiveness of Asian language materials towards increasing compliance. A serological screening test for infection with H pylori was offered to 200 Asians and 200 non-Asians (mainly Europeans), aged 21-55 y, registered at a single general practice. Reasons for non-attendance for screening were identified by reply slip or interview. A second group of 200 Asians who were offered screening were sent information in Gujarati as well as English. When information was mailed in English only, 30% Asians and 22% non-Asians attended (P = 0.09, ns). Stated reasons for non-attendance in the Asian group were not generally language related; reasons were similar in the Asian and non-Asian groups and were most frequently related to other commitments. The use of materials in Gujarati did not improve compliance. Language problems should not be assumed to dominate reasons for non-compliance with screening in ethnic minority groups. In common with those of UK origin, subjects from ethnic minority groups may more generally have insufficient interest in preventive medicine for them to prioritise health screening above other commitments.