Cancer-related help seeking in cancer survivors living in regional and remote Australia

Goodwin, Belinda C. and Chambers, Suzanne and Aitken, Joanne and Ralph, Nicholas ORCID: and March, Sonja ORCID: and Ireland, Michael and Rowe, Arlen ORCID: and Crawford-Williams, Fiona and Zajdlewicz, Leah and Dunn, Jeff (2021) Cancer-related help seeking in cancer survivors living in regional and remote Australia. Psycho-Oncology, 30 (7). pp. 1068-1076. ISSN 1057-9249


To measure rates of detection via screening, perceived self‐imposed delays in seeking medical attention, and support seeking in a sample of regional and remote people with a cancer diagnosis and to test whether an association exists between these behaviours and minimising problems and resignation, a need for self‐control and reliance and fatalism.

Correlations and binary logistic regressions were conducted to test the associations between demographic characteristics, attitudes and behaviours.

Females were more likely to have had their cancer detected via screening (OR = 10.02, CI = 3.49 – 28.78). Younger participants (r = ‐.103, p =.009) were slightly more likely to seek at least one form of support and online support was sought more often by younger patients (r = ‐.269, p < .001), females (r = .152 , p <.001), those from higher socioeconomic (SES) areas (r = .100 , p = .012), and those with higher education levels (r = .247 , p < .001). Younger (r = ‐.161, p < .001), and female (r = .82, p = .013), participants were also slightly more likely to seek support specifically through cancer support groups. No significant relationships between minimising problems and resignation, needs for control and self‐reliance or fatalism and detection via screening, support seeking, or perceived self‐imposed delays to seeking medical attention were apparent, with the exception that those with higher fatalism (predetermined health) were slightly less likely to report seeking support or information online (OR = 0.79, CI = 0.65 – 0.95) and slightly more likely to report using Cancer Council's support services (OR = 1.24, CI = 1.02, 1.52).

Strategies to improve the accessibility and appropriateness of support available for regional and remote cancer patients should consider interventions that remove barriers to access associated with age, gender, and education as opposed to those which address the attitudinal traits measured here.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 41177
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Health Research (1 Apr 2020 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Counselling (1 Jan 2015 -)
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2021 03:00
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2021 06:08
Uncontrolled Keywords: attitudes; cancer; early detection; rural health; screening; support
Fields of Research (2008): 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1702 Cognitive Sciences > 170202 Decision Making
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111712 Health Promotion
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420603 Health promotion
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420699 Public health not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920102 Cancer and Related Disorders
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 20 HEALTH > 2005 Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health) > 200508 Rural and remote area health
Identification Number or DOI:

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only