Knowledge, information-seeking behavior, and health beliefs about prostate cancer and breast cancer among men 18-40 years of age : a pilot study and comparative analysis Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/z603r0601

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  • Prostate cancer is responsible for a substantial loss of life and burden of suffering among adult males. Evidence suggests that the risk of morbidity and mortality from prostate cancer can be reduced through specific screening and dietary practices (MCI, 2002; Ries et al., 2002). Further evidence suggests that screening can be encouraged by promoting health enhancing behaviors (e.g. regular preventative exams and discussing cancer with others) in the early adult years; yet nearly all studies of prostate cancer have focused on men over the age of forty. As a result, little is known about men's health-seeking behaviors related to prostate cancer including information-seeking behavior and intentions to screen or what men know of prostate cancer. Some evidence suggests that men may know as much (or more) about breast cancer in women as they know about prostate cancer (Chamot & Perneger, 2002). This pilot study sought to expand the current foundational research on men 18 to 40 years of age. The study was designed to a) describe young men's information-seeking behavior for prostate cancer; b) describe young men's knowledge of prostate cancer; c) contrast young men's information-seeking behavior and knowledge of prostate cancer with information-seeking behavior and knowledge for breast cancer; d) examine the correlation among constructs of the Health Belief Model (perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, perceived benefits, perceived barriers, knowledge, cues to action) and intention to talk with others (family, friends, and physicians) about prostate cancer; and e) examine the correlation among constructs of the Health Belief Model and intention to seek a regular age-appropriate preventative physical examination. This cross-sectional study utilized a 46-question, multiple page, Internet-based survey. The survey was administered to 513 men between the ages of 18 and 40 years of age at Oregon State University. One hundred and five male students responded and completed the survey. Correlated groups t-tests, and Wilcoxan-signed rank tests were applied to examine differences in scores for prostate and breast cancer for various information-seeking behaviors. Hierarchical multiple correlation was applied to evaluate the relationship among constructs of the Health Belief Model. Lastly, one-way analysis of variance, and the Mann-Whitney Test were applied to analyze the independent relationships between various modifying factors of the Health Belief Model (educational attainment, income level, health status, and race) and intention. The findings of the study indicate that men talk with few others about prostate cancer, and generally are exposed to less information about prostate cancer than breast cancer. The study also demonstrated low knowledge among young adult males regarding both prostate and breast cancer, and indicated that substantial progress can be made to better inform males about these cancers. Lastly, results suggest that constructs of the Health Belief Model are correlated with intention to seek a regular preventative examination and intention to discuss prostate cancer with others. Together, the findings of this study highlight the need to improve knowledge of prostate cancer among men, increase early health-seeking behaviors, and encourage dialogue among men about prostate cancer and breast cancer.
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