Cancer Screening Literacy among Vietnamese Population: Does Annual Checkup Improve Cancer Screening Literacy?

Document Type: Research Articles

Authors

1 Yonsei University, Republic of Korea.

2 School of Social Work, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, United States.

3 Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Republic of Korea.

Abstract

Background: Colorectal, breast, and cervical cancers disproportionately impact the Vietnamese population. However, research on cancer prevention among this population was very limited. The purpose of this study is to examine the cancer screening literacy levels for these three types of cancers among rural Vietnamese and investigate correlates of cancer screening literacy. Methods: A sample of 226 Vietnamese men and women aged 25-70 years old was recruited from rural Vietnam and finished a self-administered questionnaire. Andersen’s Behavioral Model was used to guide this cross-sectional study to identify modifiable variables. Bivariate analysis was used to explore the relationship between demographic factors and cancer screening literacy levels. Multiple linear regressions were also used to identify significant factors for cancer literacy levels. Results: Cancer screening literacy levels of Vietnamese men and women were low regarding all three types of cancers, especially HPV symptom questions. Only about 24% of women answered correctly on “most people with genital HPV have no visible signs/symptoms” and less than 18% answered correctly on “I can transmit HPV to my partner(s) even if I have no HPV symptoms.” Findings suggested that having an annual checkup was associated with higher colorectal (β=.15, p <.05), breast (β=.25, p <.001), and cervical (β=.18, p <.01) cancer screening literacy. Conclusions: Public health efforts should focus on encouraging annual checkups in the Vietnamese population. During the annual checkup, health care professionals should educate patients about importance of cancer screening and provide recommendations for regular cancer screenings to reduce cancer health disparities.

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