Intention to Seek Care for Symptoms Associated With Gynecologic Cancers, HealthStyles Survey, 2008
Published Date:Oct 17 2011
Source:Prev Chronic Dis. 2011; 8(6).
Attitude To Health
Genital Neoplasms, Female
Patient Acceptance Of Health Care
Women with ovarian cancer typically experience symptoms before diagnosis; such symptoms for other gynecologic cancers have not been systematically studied. We investigated which symptoms of gynecologic cancers prompt intention to seek care among women and whether demographic differences in intention exist. This study was undertaken, in part, to inform development of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's campaign, Inside Knowledge: Get the Facts About Gynecologic Cancer.
We analyzed the 2008 HealthStyles dataset (n = 2,991 women), an annual, cross-sectional, national mail survey. We calculated weighted percentages of women who indicated an intention to seek care for symptoms (defined as intention to call or see a doctor) by demographic characteristics and level of concern about developing a gynecologic cancer. We evaluated independent predictors of intention to seek care for each symptom.
For most symptoms, more than 50% of women reported an intention to seek care. Greater percentages of women indicated an intention to seek care for symptoms clearly gynecologic (eg, 91%, postmenopausal bleeding) than for symptoms not clearly gynecologic (eg, 37%, feeling full after eating a small amount). For most symptoms, after adjustment, black women, postmenopausal women, and women with greater concern about developing gynecologic cancers were more likely than their counterparts to intend to seek care.
Intention to seek care differed by race, menopausal status, and level of concern about developing a gynecologic cancer. These findings will help in developing messages to educate women about the array of gynecologic and nongynecologic cancer symptoms.
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