Document Type: Research Articles
Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital, Vietnam.
Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Department of Psychology, Hoa sen University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Background and Aims: Although cancer is common in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam, the community awareness is still unknown. The primary objective of this study was to examine and compare the knowledge and risk perceptions of cancer possessed by cancer patients - relatives and healthy adults in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from June to August 2019. Cancer patients and their relatives were drawn from those who were hospitalized in the Oncology Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City. Healthy individuals were those without a known diagnosis of cancer, and they were drawn from the participants of the Vietnam Osteoporosis Study. A total of 533 participants including 249 patients and relatives (cancerous group) and 284 healthy individuals (healthy group), were asked to respond to a structured questionnaire that was comprised of items concerning cancer knowledge, risk factor perception, and general attitude towards cancer, using Yes, No, or Likert Scale for response. Results: The findings showed that patients hold poorer knowledge of pathology, signs, symptoms, prevention, and treatment and lower awareness of risk factors but more positive attitude towards cancer as compared to their healthy counterparts. Overall, both groups varied in their cancer knowledge, with many areas remain to be improved. Conclusions: Knowledge about cancer and its risk factors should be improved among the general population as well as among those with direct experiences with cancer. Practical implications: The findings provided by this study has major implications for the design of an educational program for cancer patients in clinical settings and awareness programs for the general public as a primary preventive measure for mitigating the cancer burden. Future studies with larger and more diverse samples or qualitative studies exploring the personal narratives of people living with cancer could take advantage from the preliminary data provided by this study.