Low Socioeconomic Status Associated with Poor Cancer Screening Perceptions in Malaysia: Analysis of Determinant of Health among General Population

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Community Health, UKM Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

2 Disease Control Division, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Health State of Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Background: The recent data shows reduced uptake on cancer screening where the Perception towards cancer screening by the public is one of the favorable factor might influence the screening uptake. Therefore, this study aims to determine the predictors of poor cancer screening perceptions among the population in Johor, Malaysia. Methods: This was a cross sectional study of 1,312 respondents selected using a multistage design. Questionnaires relating to the demographic characteristics, socioeconomic profiles, social and physical environment, knowledge and perception of cancer screening were gathered. Multiple logistic regression models were used to examine the variables and their association with poor perceptions of cancer screening. Results: Overall, 871(66.4%) respondents had poor perceptions of cancer screenings; 68.4% among males and 64.4% among females. In the multivariable analysis in the category of income, the bottom 40% and lower middle 40%, had not subscribed to health insurance, had poor social support, absence of any family history of cancer or comorbid illnesses, no previous attendance for cancer screening and poor knowledge of cancer, all of which were associated with their poor cancer screening perceptions. Conclusion: One way of developing cancer screening services to detect cancer in its early stage could include efforts to reach people with less awareness about cancer screening tests, lower socioeconomic status, and inadequate social support. Particular consideration should be taken to locate those who never had health insurance or attended cancer screening tests to provide the appropriate resources.


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