Attitudes and Practice of Health Care Providers Toward Cancer Screening: A Cross-sectional Multicenter Study, Saudi Arabia

Publication Name

Journal of Epidemiology and Global Health


Background: Screening is a cancer prevention measure for groups who are asymptomatic, and diagnosis is a medical test for groups who are symptomatic. The occupational privilege of health care providers (HCPs) is expected to play a positive role in cancer screening practices. Therefore, this study aimed to assess perceptions and personal attitudes of HCPs regarding their decision to screen for cancer in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Design: A cross-sectional multicenter survey study was conducted. A well-designed and validated questionnaire was distributed to the HCPs at three tertiary hospitals in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Results: Out of 900 health care providers who received the questionnaire, 372 completed it. Two-thirds, 247 (66.4%) of them were nurses and the rest were physicians and the mean age was 34.1 ± 7.1 years. Regardless of gender, profession, or age, the overall rate of belief in the importance of regular cancer screening was high; 91.4%. The number of participants who did not screen for colonoscopy was significantly higher than those who screened. The number of females in the age group of between 45 and 54 years who screened with mammography was significantly higher than non-screened. In a similar way, male HCPs above 54 years who got themselves screened for Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) were significantly higher than those who did not. Conclusions: Findings of the current research and existing evidence specifically for the Saudi community indicated a need to raise awareness, emphasizing the role of HCPs in motivating themselves, their families, and their patients to implement various cancer screening programs.

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