Irish cancer survivors' knowledge and perceptions of their lifestyle risk factors for cancer

The cancer landscape is changing and the picture emerging is a complex one that recognizes that some types of cancer are preventable. Empiric research has identified a number of lifestyle risk factors for cancer. Previous international and Irish research has explored the public's knowledge of cancer lifestyle risk, but to our knowledge no research has explored cancer survivors' knowledge of the lifestyle risk factors for cancer in Ireland to date. As knowledge is one prerequisite for behavior change, the purpose of this research is to investigate cancer survivors' knowledge of lifestyle risk factors for cancer, perception of their personal lifestyle risk, motivation for change (as appropriate) and identification of any potential behaviours that they could introduce/change to improve their survivorship. A questionnaire will be developed for use in this study using a non-experimental design to assess an adequate consecutive sample of cancer survivors attending out-patient oncology appointments within a regional general hospital in Ireland. The sample size will be adequate for the variables being analysed and will be as representative as possible across the main cancers and patient demographics for a rural population. The results of this confidential questionnaire will be analysed through a statistical package. The aim is to develop knowledge that would enable nurses and health professionals to deliver evidence-based health education to cancer survivors and by doing so improve their outcomes. This research is in line with the National Cancer Control Programme (2006) document and the Strategy and Educational Framework for nurses (2012). The end result of this project is the development of an app (and a booklet-for cancer survivors who are not computer literate). These information and educational tools will be appropriate to patients' needs and will improve their knowledge of cancer prevention. Additionally these tools will assist health education strategies and other efforts to improve patient survivorship.

Award Date
18 September 2014
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Dr Janice Richmond
Host Institution
HSE - Letterkenny General Hospital
Project Development Grants in Cancer Nursing Research