The purpose of this in-depth qualitative study was to describe and advance understanding of the barriers associated with colorectoral cancer (CRC) screening among Somali men (ages 50–74) in Minnesota by employing focus group methodology.

Principal Investigator

Charles R. Rogers, PhD, MPH, MS, MCHES®


Todd Rockwood, PhD
Sherrie Flynt Wallington, PhD

Project Manager

O. Jessica Obidike

Community Partners

Dr. Steve Vincent – People’s Center Health Services
Abdullahi Sheikh – Brian Coyle Community Center

Team Members

Zahra Mahamed, Research Assistant
Musse Hussein, Research Assistant
ClayVon Lowe, D-Brand Designs, Marketing Consultant


In 2016, MN Community Measurement revealed that Somali immigrants (ages 50–74) have a CRC screening rate of 24% in Minnesota, which is significantly below the statewide average (71%) and the screening rate for whites (73%). The lack of research on CRC prevention and control among Somali immigrants—Somali males, specifically—in the U.S. is a forthcoming public health emergency since five-year survival rates for CRC are nearly 90% when diagnosed at an early stage via screening.

Selected Publications and Presentations

Rogers, C. R., Obidike, O. J., Wallington, S. F., Hussein, M., Mahamed, Z., & Sampson, J. (2018). A Qualitative Study of Barriers and Enablers associated with Colorectal Cancer Screening among Somali Men in Minnesota. Ethnicity & Health, TBD. doi:10.1080/13557858.2018.1493438. NIHMSID: 969603

Guest Speaker: Dr. Charles R. Rogers. (2017, April). Colorectal Cancer Screening among Somali Men: A Public Health Emergency. Family Medicine & Community Health Faculty Research Meeting, Co-presented with Zahra Mahamed at the University of Minnesota; Minneapolis, MN

Rogers, C. R., Wallington, S.F., Mahamed, Z.A., Obidike, O.J., Sheikh, A., Rockwood, T., Vincent, S. & Lowe, C.D. (2016, September). Barriers Associated with (Colorectal) Cancer Screening Among Somali Men: A Qualitative Pilot Study. Poster presented at Ninth American Association for Cancer Research Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved – Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Rogers, C. R., & Mahamed, Z. (2016, May). Barriers Associated with (Colorectal) Cancer Screening among Somali Men: A Qualitative Pilot Study. Community Dialogue Session at Pillsbury United Communities/Brian Coyle Center; Minneapolis, MN.