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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date

1999

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Barbara Heater

Keywords

colon cancer, rectum cancer, health attitudes, cancer risk factors

Abstract

Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer in the United States. Many dietary and lifestyle factors play a role in the development of this disease. Lack of knowledge about personal, lifestyle, and dietary risk factors and the strategies needed for prevention and early detection of colorectal cancer may contribute to its continued prevalence due to reluctance of the population to participate in screening examinations. Attitudes, beliefs, and perceived risk for the disease may influence this reluctance.
The purpose of this study was to examine and describe the attitudes, beliefs, and perceived risk for the development of colorectal Also under investigation was the knowledge level about colorectal cancer and to determine if there was a relationship between attitude, belief, perceived risk, and knowledge of colorectal cancer.
A descriptive, comparative, correlational research design was used to examine the relationships to and differences among selected variables in an adult population in a Northern Plains community. These variables were: (a) demographic characteristics such as age, gender, marital status, educational level occupation, and prior exposure to colorectal; (b) attitudes and beliefs about colorectal cancer, including fear of the cancer situation, stigma associated with the diagnosis of cancer, and the feeling of hopelessness associated with the disease; and (c) the perceived risk for the development of colorectal cancer.
A nonprobability sample of 168 adults was recruited for the study. Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient and ANOVA were used to determine the relationship and differences among the variables studied. There was a statistically significant difference in fear of the cancer situation between men and women; the difference between men and women in the feeling of hopelessness approached statistical significance. Women were more fearful and hopeless than men. There was a positive correlation between the age of the respondent and the feelings of fear, hopelessness, and cancer as a stigma. There were no differences among the demographic characteristics and perceived risk for the development of colorectal cancer and knowledge of colorectal cancer other than the age of the respondent. The greater the age of the participant, the greater the perceived risk for the development of colorectal cancer and the greater the knowledge level about colorectal cancer. There was a strong correlation between the three attitudes and beliefs studied, reflecting the strength of that portion of the research instrument. There was no relationship among the attitudes studied and the perceived risk for the development of colorectal cancer. There was a weak correlation between knowledge of colorectal cancer and the feeling of hopelessness associated with cancer. There was a difference among participants with prior exposure to colorectal cancer and their perception of risk for the development of disease. Those with prior exposure and experience with the disease perceived their risk as higher than those without close contact with the disease.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Colon (Anatomy) -- Cancer
Rectum -- Cancer
Health attitudes
Cancer -- Risk factors

Number of Pages

97

Publisher

South Dakota State University

Rights

Copyright © 1999 Donna Harris. All rights reserved

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