Knowledge of Colorectal Cancer Symptoms and Risk Factors in the Kingdom of Bahrain: a Cross- Sectional Study

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Medical University of Bahrain, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Bahrain.

2 University of Bahrain, College of Health Sciences, Allied Health Department, Bahrain.


Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is second in incidence rates in both genders in the Kingdom of Bahrain,
with the number of new CRC cases sharply increasing in the last two decades. This study aimed to assess the levels
of knowledge regarding CRC among people living in the Kingdom. Methods: A cross-sectional survey design was
used to recruit a convenient sample of 505 adults aged 25 years or above. Face to face structured interviews were
conducted to supplement data gained from the questionnaire. Results: The mean age of participants was 37 (±10.43)
years. Changes in bowel habits were the most commonly identified symptoms (46%) followed by lower abdominal
pain (44%). Family history was the most commonly identified risk factor (38%) followed by smoking (28%). The
overall score of knowledge of CRC was 56 (±18.4). The scores for symptoms and risk factors were 59 (±26.2) and 53
(±17.5) respectively. It was found that female participants had better knowledge 59 (±17) than males 54 (±19) (P =
.001). Participants with high levels of education had better knowledge (63%) compared with other groups, although
this was not statistically significant (P = .067). Conclusion: This study indicates poor knowledge among people living
in Bahrain regarding CRC symptoms and risk factors. Strategies and educational initiatives need to be implemented
to enhance the general public’s awareness in this respect.


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