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East Afr J Public Health. 2007 Apr;4(1):19-22.

Health seeking behavior among cancer patients attending Ocean Road Cancer Institute, Tanzania.

Author information

  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health and Social Sciences, Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. mrkazaura@muchs.ac.tz

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To characterize cancer patients and to determine the associated health seeking behaviours.

METHODS:

Between September 2005 and February 2006, we collected data using structured and semi-structured interviews among new cancer patients attending the ORCI. Findings are summarized using univarite and bivariate analyses.

RESULTS:

There were 330 cancer patients during the study period. The mean age was 48 (SD = 13.5) years ranging between 21 and 84 years. The majority, 205 (62.1%), were females. More than two thirds of all patients, that is 225 (68.2%), presented at the ORCI at advanced stages of disease. Many patients reported to have neither heard, 193 (58.5%), nor to know cancer symptoms, 203 (61.5%). Only 185 (56.1%) of all patients reported their willingness to disclose and a freedom to talk about the disease. Risk factors for cancer staging were sex, patient's education status, awareness and knowledge of disease symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS:

Interventions targeted to improve health care seeking behaviour among cancer patients need to include health education and sensitization specifically of cancer disease, establish a strong referral mechanisms at primary health level and to start a population cancer registry for monitoring and evaluation purposes.

PMID:
17907756
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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