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Quantitative evaluation of an information leaflet to increase prompt help-seeking for gynaecological cancer symptoms

Morris, M; Friedemann Smith, C; Boxell, E; Wardle, J; Simon, A; Waller, J; (2016) Quantitative evaluation of an information leaflet to increase prompt help-seeking for gynaecological cancer symptoms. BMC Public Health , 16 , Article 374. 10.1186/s12889-016-3032-y. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Provision of written information may improve awareness of cancer symptoms and encourage timely presentation in primary care. This study assessed changes in symptom knowledge, perceived barriers to help-seeking, anxiety and intention to seek help, following exposure to a leaflet to raise awareness of gynaecological cancer symptoms. Methods: Women (N=484) completed questionnaires before and after reading the leaflet. The primary outcome was change in anticipated time to help-seeking for 12 symptoms. Changes in symptom knowledge, barriers and anxiety, and their association with prompt help-seeking were evaluated using Wilcoxon signed rank tests and logistic regression analyses. Results: After reading the leaflet, symptom knowledge increased (p<0.001), and perceived barriers (p<0.001) and anxiety (p=0.008) decreased. The number of symptoms for which women anticipated seeking help promptly increased (p<0.001). Changes in knowledge (OR 4.21, 95% CI 1.95-9.13) and perceived barriers (OR 4.60, 95% CI 1.91-11.04) were independently associated with increased help-seeking. Conclusion: Increased symptom knowledge and lowered perceived barriers were related to increased prompt anticipated help-seeking. This occurred without an increase in anxiety. Practice implications: This intervention is effective in altering knowledge, beliefs and help-seeking intentions for gynaecological cancer symptoms, at least in the short-term, and should be trialled in primary care.

Type: Article
Title: Quantitative evaluation of an information leaflet to increase prompt help-seeking for gynaecological cancer symptoms
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12889-016-3032-y
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-016-3032-y
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © Morris et al. 2016. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1485721
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