Beliefs of cancer patients in Saudi Arabia.
Objectives: To examine oncology patients' beliefs about the transmissible nature of cancer or its treatments and to determine the correlates thereof.Design: Cross-sectional.Participants: Sixty-nine hospital outpatients completed the questionnaire.Methods: Beliefs about the spread of cancer, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy with physical contact, along with demographic, social, psychological, health-related characteristics were assessed by questionnaire. Bivariate and multivariate analyses identified correlations between these beliefs and patient characteristics.Findings: A percentage (5.8%) believed their cancer could spread like an infection or be transmitted through sexual or nonsexual contact and 15.9% were unsure. Even more (13.0%) believed that chemotherapy could spread through sexual or nonsexual contact and 18.8% were unsure. Likewise, many believed (10.1%) that radiation therapy could spread through sexual or nonsexual contact and 21.7% were unsure. Obsessions with contamination were most strongly associated with such beliefs (B = 0.73, SE = 0.09, p < .0001).Conclusions: Beliefs about the spread of cancer or its treatments are not uncommon in Saudi Arabia, where cultural beliefs and tradition strongly influence healthcare decisions.
Al-Wassia, R; Al-Zaben, F; Gamal Sehlo, M; Koenig, HG
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