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J Health Psychol. 2014 Dec;19(12):1518-24. doi: 10.1177/1359105313494924. Epub 2013 Jul 17.

Perceptions of cancer as a death sentence: prevalence and consequences.

Author information

1
National Cancer Institute, USA moserr@mail.nih.gov.
2
University of Missouri, USA.
3
Maine Medical Center, USA.
4
Washington University School of Medicine, USA.
5
National Cancer Institute, SAIC-Frederick, USA.
6
National Cancer Institute, USA.

Abstract

Research suggests that perceiving cancer as a death sentence is a critical determinant of health care-seeking behaviors. However, there is limited information regarding the prevalence of this perception in the US population. Cross-sectional analysis of data (n = 7674 adults) from the 2007-2008 administration of the nationally representative Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS 3) was performed. A majority (61.6%) of respondents perceived cancer as death sentence, and more than one-third (36%) of respondents reported that they avoid seeing their physicians. In the adult US population, perceiving cancer as a death sentence is common and is associated with education level and avoidance of physicians.

KEYWORDS:

cancer; health behavior; health psychology; perception; public health psychology

PMID:
23864071
PMCID:
PMC4099292
DOI:
10.1177/1359105313494924
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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