Knowledge, attitudes, and worries among different health literacy groups before receiving first invitation to colorectal cancer screening: Cross-sectional study

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Background: Colorectal cancer screening uptake is associated with knowledge, attitudes and worries about screening. People with higher levels of health literacy usually have higher screening-related knowledge, but its association with attitudes and worries is sparsely described. The aim of this study was to describe knowledge, attitudes, and worries about colorectal cancer screening among unscreened citizens, and to estimate the association between these and health literacy. Methods: In a cross-sectional study 10,030 53–74 year-old Central Denmark Region citizens received a questionnaire assessing knowledge, attitudes, worry and health literacy. Socioeconomic and –demographic data were linked from Statistics Denmark after data collection. Results: In total, 7142 (71.2%) questionnaires were completed. A good general level of knowledge was observed (4.91 and 5.13 out of 7 for men and women, respectively). Citizens tended to be positive towards screening (21.4 and 21.3 on a 4–28 range scale for men and women respectively), and showed low levels of worries (8.8 and 9.09 on a 3–15 range scale for men and women respectively). Knowledge decreased and worries increased with lower levels of health literacy. Further, attitudes tended to be more positive with higher levels of health literacy. Conclusions: In general, citizens tend to have good knowledge, positive attitudes and few worries about colorectal cancer screening. People with lower health literacy could benefit from targeted interventions that address knowledge and worries about screening to support informed decision making.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100876
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

    Research areas

  • Colorectal neoplasms, Cross-sectional studies, Educational status, Health knowledge, attitudes, practice, Health literacy, Mass screening, Patient participation, Socioeconomic factors

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