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Public attitudes and perceptions towards cancer in New Zealand: a focus group

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dc.contributor.author Elliott, Rae
dc.date.accessioned 2011-07-26T22:01:34Z
dc.date.accessioned 2022-10-27T02:31:51Z
dc.date.available 2011-07-26T22:01:34Z
dc.date.available 2022-10-27T02:31:51Z
dc.date.copyright 2002
dc.date.issued 2002
dc.identifier.uri https://ir.wgtn.ac.nz/handle/123456789/25558
dc.description.abstract Cancer in New Zealand is the second leading cause of death. Cancer usually evokes strong emotional responses in people, and imagery of pain, suffering, and death. Fear of cancer could mean reluctance in seeking medical assessment for a problem. This small qualitative study explored an urban group of New Zealanders' attitudes towards cancer, particularly their knowledge and understanding of cancer, its causes, treatments and outcomes, and how they had formed this knowledge. Nine volunteers who had had no close involvement with cancer and who were not health professionals, participated in a facilitated focus group. The data were analysed around meaningful themes. Key findings emerged, which have significance for those working with cancer in clinical practice, education, screening, and research. Men appeared embarrassed and reluctant to undergo physical examinations of the rectum and testes, and highlighted the necessity of more effective promotion of men's cancer issues. Most participants knew treatments worked at least some of the time. However treatments (generally chemotherapy) were thought of as harsh, making people miserable and with physical and psychosocial cost. Some thought stress and a person's psychological state contributed to causing cancer. Participants appeared to make sense of cancer by developing their own theories based on their exposure to cancer. These theories were sometimes misinformed, but did include elements of accurate knowledge. The thought and possibility of having cancer caused extreme anxiety and fear. Cancer prevention education in schools appeared to be having a positive impact, with children bringing their work home and educating their families. The group seemed well informed about commonly-acknowledge causes, risks and prevention of cancer, highlighting television, radio and other media as informational sources. The facilitated discussion method appeared beneficial for the participants, allowing cancer to be demystified. Participants suggested the public needed more positive information about cancer and treatments. en_NZ
dc.format pdf en_NZ
dc.language en_NZ
dc.language.iso en_NZ
dc.publisher Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
dc.title Public attitudes and perceptions towards cancer in New Zealand: a focus group en_NZ
dc.type Text en_NZ
vuwschema.type.vuw Awarded Research Masters Thesis en_NZ
thesis.degree.grantor Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
thesis.degree.level Masters en_NZ

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