An Examination of the Personal Cancer Screening Behaviors of Oncology Health Care Professionals and the Factors that Influence Their Cancer Screening Decisions
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Background: Oncology health care professionals are not only reliable sources of health information, but health role models who play a key role in helping patients adopt screening and other prevention- related practices. Despite clearly defined, evidence-based guidelines for cancer screening, there is a lack of evidence about cancer providers' personal adherence to these recommendations. Purpose: This study examined the personal adherence of oncology health care professionals to determine consistency with cancer screening guidelines for cervical, breast, and colorectal cancers as well as the factors that influence their personal cancer screening decisions. Methods: This quantitative study surveyed a convenience sample of oncology health care professionals at a comprehensive cancer center to evaluate the relationships between knowledge of cancer screening guidelines, perceptions and beliefs about cancer and screening, and cancer screening behavior using descriptive statistics and logistic regression models. The instruments that were used included the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), the Champion Health Belief Model (CHBM), and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) for cervical, breast, and colorectal cancer. Results: Results demonstrated adherence rates of 91.5% for Pap tests, 82.8% for HPV testing, 85.2% for mammography, and 100.0% for colonoscopy screening when blood tests and endoscopy were combined. Statistically significant relationships existed between some, but not all of the CHBM factors, knowledge, and cancer screening outcomes. Conclusion: Although oncology health care professionals are adherent to cancer screening guidelines for cervical, breast, and colorectal cancers, researchers should continue to explore the factors that explain their adherence.