Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviors of Health Workers About Cancer Screenings

Cantürk Kaya, Yusuf Üstü, Esra Özyörük, Önder Aydemir, Çiğdem Şimşek, Ayşe Demirci Şahin
2.236 315

Abstract


Objectives: The fact that cancer is among the preventable diseases makes cancer screening important and necessary. Some preventable cancers may be diagnosed and treated by appropriate screening programs. In this study, it was aimed to investigate knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of health workers and to evaluate the level of knowledge about preventable cancers and cancer screening programs.

Materials and Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in December 2014 by using face-to-face interviews with 564 health workers. Descriptive statistics are given as frequency distribution and percentages. All analyses were performed using the SPSS 15.0 package program.

Results: 386 women and 178 male participants were included in the study. When the distribution of participants' expertise is analyzed, it was seen that 200 were general practitioners, 99 were family medicine specialists or assistants, 26 were general surgery specialists or assistants, 29 were gynecology specialists or assistants, 41 were internal medicine specialists or assistants, 169 were nurses, midwife or family health worker. Cancers in our national cancer screening program have been known exactly by 274 (48.58%) participants. The remaining 290 (51.41%) participants indicated the screened cancer types incorrectly, inadequately or improperly. When health workers were questioned whether they had done their cancer screening tests, only 58 (14.87%) had run regular screening among the 390 people who entered the target age group of  screening.

The number of irregularly or never screened participants were 237 (60.76%) and 95 (24.35%), respectively. Among these irregularly or never screened participants, the main reasons for avoidance were indicated as the lack of time and assumption of being healthy.

Conclusion: The results of our study suggest that health workers' awareness of the national cancer screening program is not adequate. Both the level of knowledge and participation rates in cancer screening programs seem to be inadequate. Having sufficient knowledge of healthcare professionals in cancer screening tests and turning it into positive attitudes and behaviors are important for the success of the screening program. 


Keywords


Cancer screening, family medicine, health care workers

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