Journal of Cancer Education

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 167–173 | Cite as

Subjective and Objective Cancer Screening Knowledge Among White- and Blue-Collar Chinese Midlife Adults

  • Su-I HouEmail author


Cancer is the leading cause of death among Chinese, yet little is known about cancer knowledge among this population. The study described the subjective and objective cancer screening knowledge among white- versus blue-collar Chinese midlife adults. A convenient sample of white-collar adults age 40+ years was recruited from government and academic agencies; and blue-collar adults age 40+ years were recruited from manufactory companies in Taiwan. An eight-item cancer screening knowledge test (CSKT) was used to measure objective knowledge and one five-point Likert scale item for assessing subjective (perceived) cancer screening knowledge. A total of 208 white- and 533 blue-collar workers completed the survey during 2008–2011. Mean ages between groups were comparable (41.1 versus 46.3 years), as well as family cancer history (41.5 %). About 76 % of the white-collar and 43 % of the blue-collar adults had college education. The mean score of the CSKT was lower in the blue-collar versus white-collar workers, 5.4 (SD = 1.76) versus 6.1 (SD = 1.40), indicating on average, 68 versus 76 % of the participants answered the cancer knowledge correctly. The subjective knowledge levels were, however, higher among the blue-collar workers (mean rating of 3.22 versus 2.78). The CSKT showed a good mix of relatively easy and moderately difficult items in both groups. Study showed that overall cancer screening knowledge was low among Chinese midlife adults. Although blue-collar workers scored lower on CSKT, the perceived knowledge level was higher. Results also suggest attention to communicating cancer screening information among Chinese blue-collar midlife workers in particular.


Cancer knowledge Chinese Midlife adults Subjective knowledge Workplace 



This study was partially supported by a research grant from the Chiang-Ching Kuo Foundation (CCKF) for International Scholarly Exchange. The authors would like to thank the help from Dr. Hsiao, T.J. for his coordination on the data collection at the blue-collar worker sites in Taiwan. Special thanks also goes to Drs. Ho-Shong Hou and Peng-His Hou for their support and coordination on the data collection at the white-collar worker sites in Taiwan.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

The study was approved by the human subject review board of the principal investigator’s institution.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© American Association for Cancer Education 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Doctoral Program in Public Affairs/Health Management & Informatics, College of Health & Public AffairsUniversity of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA

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