The associations between objective numeracy and colorectal cancer screening knowledge, attitudes and defensive processing in a deprived community sample

Samuel G. Smith*, Lindsay C. Kobayashi, Michael S. Wolf, Rosalind Raine, Jane Wardle, Christian Von Wagner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined associations between numeracy and sociocognitive factors associated with colorectal cancer screening uptake (n = 964). Nearly half (45.7%) of the respondents incorrectly answered a numeracy question (low numeracy). Low numeracy respondents were less knowledgeable about colorectal cancer (p <.001), less positive towards screening (emotional, p <.001 and practical, p =.001) and less likely to intend to participate in screening (p =.001). They also reported greater defensive processing of cancer information (p =.001). Sociocognitive factors fully mediated the relationship between numeracy and screening intention. Addressing numeracy issues may reduce inequalities in CRC screening participation, but communication strategies could be limited by the tendency process cancer information defensively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1665-1675
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
Volume21
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

Keywords

  • attitudes
  • colorectal cancer
  • health communication
  • health literacy
  • numeracy
  • screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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