Assessment of Knowledge and Attitudes of Patients About Cancer Screenings in Primary Care
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Incidence of cancer is increasing in the developing countries such as Turkey. Screenings are important part of preventive medicine practices which can reduce deaths due to cancer. Our aim was to identify patient’s awareness and knowledge level of cancers and screenings and to create a road map of what we need to do to increase screening rates. This study was a descriptive type, and the research population was the patients between the age of 30 and 75, who went to 18 different Family Health Centres in different places in Turkey for any reason in July–September 2016. The survey was completed by face-to-face interview and consisted of 20 questions about the socio-demographic attributes, level of cancer and cancer screenings knowledge, causes of screening, and reasons for not doing. Screening rates was self-reported by patients. A total of 643 patients, 394 women (61.3%) and 249 men (38.7%), participated in the study. The average age was 45.67 ± 11.49. The most well-known cancer type was breast cancer (79%). Having no screening was high in general population (64.7%). Having a screening was statistically significantly higher in women, over 50 year olds group, divorced/widower group, housewives, primary school graduates, the group who have green-card (having very low or no income) as social security, and in the group who have a history of family member with cancer. 55.8% of patients received the information about screenings from healthcare professionals. The reasons for not having a screening were “not seeing themselves as under risk” (27.4%), not having knowledge (22.8%), and fear of the results (15%). First of all, the importance of cancer screening as an important part of the preventive health services should be understood by family doctors through in-service training. Then family doctors would share the information and experience, clear the lack of knowledge of them and by doing this rates of screening would increase.
KeywordsPrimary health care Early detection of cancer Health personnel Preventive health services
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