Background: Public awareness and attitudes toward cancer and cancer patients are highly important in enhancing the effectiveness of cancer screening and early diagnosis programmes. This study aimed to explore the public attitudes toward cancer and cancer patients in Jordan.
Method: A cross-sectional design was used to conduct this online survey study in Jordan between March 20th and April 20th 2020.The sample was conveniently selected, and 1157 participants were included from the public. The Public Attitudes toward Cancer Questionnaire was employed.
Results: Descriptive statistics, unpaired t-test, ANOVA, and multiple linear regression were utilized. The mean age was 44.2 years (SD= 20.1), and 53% were female. The total mean attitude score was 38.2 (SD = 4.3). Based on the results, having a family member or a friend with cancer (P=.003), willingness to be informed about cancer diagnosis (P=0.001), informing a friend about cancer diagnosis (P=0.021), and willingness to participate in screening and early detection programmes (P<0.001) were significant predictive positive attitudes towards cancer and cancer patients. In addition, being married predicted more negative attitudes compared with being single (P=0.001)
Conclusion: This study demonstrated that Jordanians had positive attitudes toward cancer and cancer patients and most were willing to be informed about cancer diagnosis. This calls for healthcare providers to adopt shared decision models when devising health care plans for cancer patients, with more involvement on the parts of both patients and family members rather than adopting a paternal approach. Policy makers and managers should consider positive attitudes when developing healthcare programmes to enhance public participation in early cancer detection and screening programmes so as to reduce cancer mortality and morbidity rates.