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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 92, Issue 1, pp 48–52 | Cite as

Cancer Prevention in the Community: A Survey of Community Residents

  • Jeannette Macey
  • Nancy KreigerEmail author
  • Margaret Sloan
  • Jeanie Lacroix
Article

Abstract

Lifestyle exposures account for the greatest proportion of risk factors for cancer, yet these exposures have proven most difficult to alter. Despite intensive intervention efforts, many behaviour change programs are ill suited to the community. This research was undertaken to increase our understanding of prevention activities of interest to a sample of residents in two Ontario communities. 248 (62.3%) adult residents responded to a semi-structured self-administered questionnaire including open-ended questions on health issues, exposures and prevention activities of interest. While some of the beliefs expressed by respondents might have been anticipated (e.g., cigarette smoking and family history increase risk of cancer), others were not (e.g., only between 40 and 75% of respondents thought a high fat diet increased risk). Furthermore, many of those with personal health concerns expressed an interest in prevention. This process is proposed as a first step in launching more appropriate and sustainable community-based health promotion programs for cancer prevention.

Résumé

Les niveaux d’exposition découlant des habitudes de vie sont à l’origine des facteurs de risque les plus importants, mais il s’agit des éléments les plus difficiles à modifier. Malgré des efforts d’intervention soutenus, les programmes de modification du comportement sont souvent mal adaptés au milieu. Nous avons voulu mieux comprendre les activités de prévention qui conviennent à un échantillon de résidents provenant de deux collectivités de l’Ontario. En tout, 248 adultes (62,3 %) ont répondu à un questionnaire auto-administré semi-structuré. Certaines des opinions émises étaient prévisibles (le tabagisme et les antécédents familiaux accroissent les risques de cancer), contrairement à d’autres (de 40 à 75 % des répondants seulement estimaient qu’une alimentation riche en matières grasses augmentait les risques). Par ailleurs, un grand nombre de personnes ayant des problèmes de santé s’intéressaient à la prévention. La démarche que nous avons employée pourrait constituer une étape préalable à la mise en place de programmes communautaires de promotion de la santé adaptés et durables en vue de prévenir le cancer.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeannette Macey
    • 1
  • Nancy Kreiger
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Margaret Sloan
    • 1
  • Jeanie Lacroix
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Prevention OncologyCancer Care OntarioTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of Public Health SciencesUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Canadian Institute for Health InformationTorontoCanada

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