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Cancer-related health behaviors among men and women living in Ohio Appalachia

Mira L. Katz, PhD, MPH1, Mary Ellen Wewers, PhD, MPH2, Jennifer Schultz, PhD3, Prabu David, PhD4, Douglas Post, PhD5, Donald Cegala, PhD6, and Steven Clinton, MD1. (1) OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center, 320 West 10th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, (9614) 293-6603, katz-4@medctr.osu.edu, (2) School of Nursing, The Ohio State University, 1585 Neil Ave., Columbus, OH 43210, (3) Newton Hall, OSU College of Nursing, 1585 Neil Ave, Columbus, OH 43210, (4) OSU School of Journalism and Communication, 242 W. 18th Avenue, Derby Hall, Columbus, OH 43210, (5) Family Medicine, Ohio State University, 456 W 10th Ave, 1124 Cramblett, Columbus, OH 43210, (6) School of Journalism and Communication, Ohio State University, 154 N. Oval Mall, 3016 Derby, Columbus, OH 43210

Purpose: To obtain information regarding cancer-related health beliefs and behaviors from medically underserved populations living in rural Ohio. Methods: A convenience sample of men and women (n=299) over the age of forty from two rural Ohio Appalachian counties completed face-to-face interviews. The interviews focused on health information seeking behaviors, cancer screening practices, tobacco use, and nutrition. Results: Participants were White (97%), had annual household incomes less than $50,000 (70%), and had a high school education or less (62%). Fifty-three percent had a family history of cancer and 15% had a personal history of cancer. Forty-eight percent had a history of some type of tobacco use, 45% use sunscreen, and there were low completion rates within specified guidelines for the various cancer screening tests. Only 14% of the participants ate 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day despite 67% knowing that foods contribute to cancer risk. Sixty-two percent of the participants stated that they looked for health-related information, and the most used source for the information was their healthcare provider. Conclusions: Cancer prevention and control programs are needed for the residents of the medically underserved rural regions in Ohio. The information obtained about current cancer-related beliefs and practices from this population provides insight about target areas to develop educational programs.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

Keywords: Rural Populations, Cancer

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Experiences of Cancer

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA