Objective: We measured the perceived risk for developing gastric cancer and investigated how a range of socio-demographic, lifestyle, health, and psychological factors were associated with risk perception in a population-based sample in Korea. Methods: This study was based on the 2006 Korean National Cancer Screening Survey conducted by the National Cancer Center, in which trained interviewers met face-to-face with participants selected by a nationally representative random sampling. The participants included 1673 adults, aged 40 years or older, who had not previously been diagnosed with cancer. Simple and multiple ordinal regression were used to determine the associations between perceived risk and socio-demographic, lifestyle, health, and psychological factors. Results: Almost half of the subjects (48.3%) thought their chance of developing gastric cancer was lower than that of other men or women of the same age. A higher level of worry concerning gastric cancer was strongly associated with a higher perceived risk for gastric cancer development. Those who drink alcohol two or more days per week, and who are unmarried all perceived their risk as being higher. However, those without a previous gastric cancer screening, a personal history of gastric disease, or a good overall health status had a lower perceived risk for gastric cancer development. Conclusion: This study found comparative optimism about the risk for developing gastric cancer in a Korean population. It is necessary to increase people's ability to accurately perceive their risk for cancer.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health