Document Type : Research Articles
Policy and Planning Development Unit, Division of Policy Development and Strategic Plan, National Cancer Institute, Department of Medical Services, Ministry of Public Health, Bangkok, Thailand.
Regional Health Support Unit, Division of Policy Development and Strategic Plan, National Cancer Institute, Department of Medical Services, Ministry of Public Health, Bangkok, Thailand.
Background: Colorectal cancer is an important public health problem in Thailand. The health workforce is one of the key strategies to reduce the burden of cancer. They are not only involved in patient care, but they can improve public knowledge of cancer within their community. This study aimed to explore the knowledge and attitudes toward colorectal cancer among Thai healthcare workers. Methods: A cross-sectional pilot study was conducted from October 2021 to March 2022. Convenience sampling was used to recruit study participants who worked in selected primary healthcare units or hospitals located in different regions across the country. The data on demographics and health behavior, knowledge of using the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT), and knowledge and attitudes toward colorectal cancer were collected using self-administered questionnaires. Descriptive statistics were used for data analysis. Results: A total of 300 healthcare workers were recruited in the study. The majority of participants presented a healthy lifestyle: 74% were in the healthy weight range, 68% had never consumed alcohol, and 99.3% were never smokers. More than 70% of participants provided correct answers to questions about the use of a FIT kit. The mean score for knowledge of colorectal cancer was 12.16 + 2.16 (out of 14) and 240 (80%) participants were considered to have adequate knowledge. Also, colorectal cancer knowledge was associated with age of participants (p<0.05). Most of the participants (76.2-92.3%) had positive attitudes toward colorectal cancer screening, however about half of them thought that a colonoscopy could be painful, uncomfortable, and embarrassing. Conclusions: Overall, the majority of participants had adequate knowledge of colorectal cancer and positive attitudes toward its screening. The present study provided overview information on practical guidance for undertaking a nationwide survey in the future.