Perceived cancer risk among American Indians: implications for intervention research.

Department of Development Sociology, Cornell University, 322 Warren Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
Ethnicity & disease (Impact Factor: 0.92). 01/2010; 20(4):458-62.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Perceived risk of disease plays a key role in health behaviors, making it an important issue for cancer-prevention research. We investigate associations between perceived cancer risk and selected cancer risk factors in a population-based sample of American Indians. STUDY DESIGN AND POPULATION: Data for this cross-sectional study come from a random sample of 182 American Indian adults, aged > or = 40 years, residing on the Hopi Reservation in northeastern Arizona.
Perception of cancer risk was ascertained with the 5-point Likert scale question, "How likely do you think it is that you will develop cancer in the future?" dichotomized into low perceived risk and high perceived risk.
Participants reporting a family member with cancer were more likely, by greater than five times, to report the perception that they would get cancer (OR = 5.3; 95% CI: 2.3, 12.3). After controlling for age and family history of cancer, knowledge of cancer risk factors and attitude about cancer prevention were not significantly associated with risk perception.
Perceived cancer risk was significantly associated with self-reported family history of cancer, supporting the importance of personal knowledge of cancer among American Indians. Further research is needed to obtain a more complete picture of the factors associated with perceptions of cancer risk among American Indians in order to develop effective interventions.

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