Testicular Self-Examination in Young Adult Men


  • Christine A. Wynd

    Corresponding author
    1. Christine A. Wynd, RN, PhD, CNAA, Delta Omega, Professor, University of Akron, Akron, OH
      Dr. Wynd, University of Akron, 209 Carroll Street, Akron, OH 44325–3701. E-mail: cwynd@uakron.edu
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Dr. Wynd, University of Akron, 209 Carroll Street, Akron, OH 44325–3701. E-mail: cwynd@uakron.edu


Purpose: To describe patterns of testicular self-examination (TSE) in a sample of young adult men and to identify factors distinguishing between men who do and do not practice TSE.

Design: A comparative descriptive design with a convenience sample of 191 adult men aged 18–35 years, recruited from a large industrial complex in the U.S. Midwest. Data were collected during several occupational health fairs held from 1999–2001.

Methods: A self-report, 75-item health risk appraisal (HRA) was administered to identify health-related lifestyle habits. Men who did and did not perform TSE regularly were compared using Mann-Whitney U statistics for discrete variables and t tests for continuous data. Discriminant function analysis was used to identify factors allowing prediction of frequent or infrequent TSE performance.

Findings: Sixty-four percent of 191 participants reported rarely or never performing TSE, and 36% practiced TSE monthly or every few months. Men who infrequently performed TSE were more often African American or Hispanic and had less than a college education. Other significant factors associated with infrequent TSE practice included less satisfaction with current job assignment; less satisfaction with life in general; greater worries interfering with daily life; more serious family problems in dealing with spouse, children, or parents; and reduced availability of people to turn to for support.

Conclusions: Demographic and socioeconomic variables were related to TSE knowledge and performance. Further investigation is required to determine why men, especially ethnic minority men, are not performing this important cancer-screening activity.