Attitudes to cancer and cancer prevention: what do people aged 35–54 years think?

Sinead Keeney, Hugh McKenna, Paul Fleming, Sonja McIlfatrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to explore the knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of people in mid-life towardscancer prevention. The study was undertaken in Northern Ireland between 2003 and 2007. This was a mixedmethods study using a sequential exploratory design. The theoretical framework was the Theory of PlannedBehaviour and the methodology was based on Sutton’s framework. There were three methodological stages inthe study using focus groups, a large cross-sectional survey and a volunteer sample survey. This paper focuseson the findings of the cross-sectional survey relating to the attitudes of people in mid-life towards cancer andcancer prevention. Findings are considered in relation to the respondents’ level of knowledge, age, gender, levelof educational attainment and socio-economic status. Evidence from this study shows that attitudes towardscancer and cancer prevention are associated significantly with level of knowledge about cancer, gender,socio-economic status and level of educational attainment. In conclusion, the evidence from this study showsthat men, those with a lower level of education, those with a lower level of knowledge and those in a lowersocio-economic group were more likely to hold negative attitudes about cancer and cancer prevention
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)769-777
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Care
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Nov 2010


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