Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Rural Health. 2019 Mar;35(2):176-188. doi: 10.1111/jrh.12359. Epub 2019 Mar 4.

Cancer-Related Beliefs and Perceptions in Appalachia: Findings from 3 States.

Author information

1
Markey Cancer Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky.
2
ICF Macro, Inc., Fairfax, Virginia.
3
Hillman Cancer Center, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
4
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbus, Ohio.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Appalachians experience increased rates of cancer incidence and mortality compared to non-Appalachians. Many factors may contribute to the elevated cancer burden, including lack of knowledge and negative beliefs about the disease.

METHODS:

Three National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers with Appalachian counties in their respective population-based geographic service areas-Kentucky, Ohio, and Pennsylvania-surveyed their communities to better understand their health profiles, including 5 items assessing cancer beliefs. Weighted univariate and bivariate statistics were calculated for each of the 3 state's Appalachian population and for a combined Appalachian sample. Weighted multiple linear regression was used to identify factors associated with a cancer beliefs composite score. Data from the combined Appalachian sample were compared to NCI's Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS).

RESULTS:

Data from 1,891 Appalachian respondents were included in the analysis (Kentucky = 798, Ohio = 112, Pennsylvania = 981). Significant differences were observed across the 3 Appalachian populations related to income, education, marital status, rurality, perceptions of present income, and body mass index (BMI). Four of 5 cancer beliefs were significantly different across the 3 states. Education, BMI, perceptions of financial security, and Kentucky residence were significantly associated with a lower composite score of cancer beliefs. When comparing the combined Appalachian population to HINTS, 3 of 5 cancer belief measures were significantly different.

CONCLUSIONS:

Variations in cancer beliefs were observed across the 3 states' Appalachian populations. Interventions should be tailored to specific communities to improve cancer knowledge and beliefs and, ultimately, prevention and screening behaviors.

KEYWORDS:

Appalachia; cancer beliefs; fatalism; rural; survey research

PMID:
30830984
DOI:
10.1111/jrh.12359

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center