Cancer knowledge and disparities in the information age.
ABSTRACT Increasing information flow often leads to widening gaps in knowledge between different socioeconomic status (SES) groups as higher SES groups are more likely to acquire this new information at a faster rate than lower SES groups. These gaps in knowledge may offer a partial but robust explanation for differential risk behaviors and health disparities between different social groups. Drawing on the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS 2003), a national survey of communication behaviors conducted by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), we examine the relationship between publicity and knowledge gaps on two cancer topics that received different levels of publicity: knowledge about tobacco and sun exposure and their respective links to cancer. Analyses of the HINTS 2003 data suggest that differential knowledge levels of causes of cancer between SES groups are one potential explanation of cancer disparities that have been extensively reported in the literature. It is evident that high income and high education are associated with awareness about causes of major cancers such as lung and skin, and may allow people to protect themselves and minimize their risks. The data also show that heavier media attention could attenuate the knowledge gaps though moderate publicity or lack of news coverage may actually widen them. Last, the findings in this article suggest that it is necessary to take into account the SES variation within different racial and ethnic groups rather than mask them by treating the groups as one.
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ABSTRACT: Cancer prevention information (CPI) needs are common among cancer patients and their families, but processes of CPI seeking following cancer diagnosis are largely unknown. The goal of this study was to examine antecedents of CPI seeking among a diverse sample of patients and their caregivers. Findings revealed high levels of perceived personal importance of CPI and motivational factors (health consciousness), but almost half of respondents never sought CPI. Non-seekers were more likely to have lower household income and educational attainment. Minority respondents were less likely to seek CPI compared with non-Hispanic Whites, with increased risk among Spanish-speaking Hispanics. However, only educational attainment, health consciousness, and marital status were significant predictors of CPI seeking in the final logistic regression model. These disparities demonstrate the need for communication interventions in healthcare settings.Journal of Communication in Healthcare. 07/2014; 7(2):93-105.
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ABSTRACT: Differences in cancer awareness between individuals may explain variations in healthcare seeking behaviour and ultimately also variations in cancer survival. It is therefore important to examine cancer awareness and to investigate possible differences in cancer awareness among specific population subgroups. The aim of this study is to assess awareness of cancer symptoms, risk factors and perceived 5-year survival from bowel, breast, ovarian, and lung cancer in a Danish population sample and to analyse the association between these factors and socio-economic position indicators.BMC Cancer 08/2014; 14(1):581. · 3.32 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Studies have shown that differences among individuals and social groups in accessing and using information on health and specific threats have an impact on their knowledge and behaviors. These differences, characterized as communication inequalities, may hamper the strength of a society's response to a public health emergency. Such inequalities not only make vulnerable populations subject to a disproportionate burden of adversity, but also compromise the public health system's efforts to prevent and respond to pandemic influenza outbreaks. We investigated the effect of socioeconomic status (SES) and health communication behaviors (including barriers) on people's knowledge and misconceptions about pandemic influenza A(H1N1) (pH1N1) and adoption of prevention behaviors.Public health reports (Washington, D.C. : 1974). 01/2014; 129 Suppl 4:49-60.