Complicating “the good result”: narratives of colorectal cancer screening when cancer is not found

Jean M. Hunleth, Robert Gallo, Emily K. Steinmetz, Aimee S. James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objectives: In this paper, we analyze narratives from a Photovoice project on colorectal cancer screening that was carried out with people who had undergone screening and were found to not have cancer. Methods: Three groups, totaling eighteen participants, took part in the project, meeting multiple times over the course of approximately 10 weeks, and discussing photos they took about colorectal cancer screening. Results: A common way in which the participants conveyed their screening experiences was through reflection on their own or other people's illnesses. Our findings highlight the multiple meanings of receiving a “good” or noncancerous screening result after undergoing cancer screening. Conclusion: Such findings suggest that framing noncancerous results only in terms of relief or other positive emotions may ignore the realities people and their families face and their remaining concerns. This paper has broader implications for policies to reduce cancer disparities as well as public health and patient-provider communication about screening.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-525
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 4 2019


  • colorectal < cancer type
  • health care disparities
  • narrative research
  • photovoice
  • qualitative < research methods


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