We want your feedback! Complete the 2022 Newsletter Subscriber Survey and you can go into the draw to win: 2x $200 vouchers, 3x My APO+ memberships, and a ticket to EIS 2023.
Journal article

Barriers and facilitators to participation in breast, bowel and cervical cancer screening in rural Victoria: a qualitative study

Journal
Bowel cancer Breast cancer Cervical cancer Cancer screening Qualitative research Public health Victoria
Description

Population cancer screening rates are around 50% for the general population and even lower in rural areas. This study aimed to explore knowledge, attitudes, behaviours, motivators and barriers to breast, bowel and cervical screening participation in under-screened men and women.

The study used a qualitative research design. Focus groups were segmented by age, sex and screening participation. Participants were under-screened in at least one of the cancer screening programs, with separate groups for each of the programs. The discussion guides were designed around the Health Belief Model and group discussions were coded using a thematic content analysis approach.

Fourteen focus groups were held with 80 participants. Key themes were that the concept of cancer screening was not well understood, a low priority for preventive health behaviours, issues relating to local general practitioners (GP) and screening was unpleasant, embarrassing and/or inconvenient. A key determinant of participation in cancer screening was exposure to prompts to action, and it was evident that participants often required multiple prompts before they took action.

Opportunities that develop attitudes to health that place disease prevention as a high priority; improve understanding of the benefit of screening in terms of early detection and treatment; improve GP availability and the patient-practitioner relationship; and the development of messages for each of the screening programs should be further explored as factors that may influence rural population screening rates.

Key points:

Addressing health attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, health practitioner and test-related barriers and improving messaging may increase cancer screening participation in under-screened rural populations.

Publication Details
Peer Reviewed:
Yes
DOI:
10.1002/hpja.478
License type:
CC BY-NC-ND
Access Rights Type:
open
Volume:
33
Issue:
1
Pagination:
272-281