Information seeking, screening and health behaviors of cancer survivors;
Ten cancer million survivors, representing 3.5% of the US population, are at increased risk for addition cancer and other health problems. This retrospective secondary data analysis study examined the impact a cancer diagnosis has on survivor’s (n=763) screening, health, and information seeking behaviors compared to those without cancer (n=2114). This was a secondary data analysis of the NCI’s 2003 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS). The cancer survivors were predominantly White, married, employed women with more than a high school education with access to health care. The average age of the cancer survivor was 58 with an average of 11 years since diagnosis. The cancer survivors were significantly different from the NoCancer group in a number of these variables. These differences were controlled for in the statistical analyses. Being a cancer survivor influenced risk perceptions, barriers and benefits to cancer screening, but cancer status did not inform actual cancer screening behaviors, with the exception of higher screening rates for cancer survivors for colorectal cancer screening. CaSurvivors were no different in adopting healthy behaviors than the Nocancer group with controlling for other demographic variables; 22.5% of CaSurvivors and 18.4 of NoCancer were current smokers; 45.3% of CaSurvivors and 53% of NoCancer at least weekly; 18% of CaSurvivors and 14.9% of NoCancer consumed at least five fruits and vegetables per day, and 58% of CaSurvivor and 54.9% of NoCaner were either overweight or obese. Only 7.4% of CaSurvivors and 6.4% of Nocancer reported all three health behaviors (exercised regularly, and consumed at least five F/V per day; and did not smoke) and had a healthy weight. Two thirds (67.5%, n=418) of the survivors sought cancer information (InfoSeek) and 32.5% (n=201) did not (NoInfoSeek). Significant predictors of cancer information seeking included age (less the 65) , gender (female), income (.%25,000/yr) and having a regular health care provider. Although most survivors prefer receiving cancer information from their health care provider, many turn to a variety of other sources, primarily the internet. Advancing the cancer experience as a teachable moment or cue to action for health promotion needs to be explored further.
Original: University of Utah Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library (no longer available).
Doctoral scholarships from the ONS Foundation and American Cancer Society (DSCN 1-8161) and a National Service Research Award from the National Institute of Nursing Research (F31 NR 009137-01A1), NCI training grant (R25 CA093831, Kathi Mooney, P.)