The Role of Numeracy on Cancer Screening Among Urban Women

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Objectives : To determine the role of numeracy on cancer screening knowledge and practices among an ethnically diverse population.

Methods : Women aged 40+ presenting for primary care at an urban academic medical center were surveyed. Numeracy was measured as a dichotomous outcome (numerate: yes/no) using 3 criteria adapted from a validated instrument. Self-report was used to determine if women were upto-date with breast and colorectal cancer screening.

Results : Adequate numeracy was associated with increasing age, white race, higher education, and knowledge of breast cancer screening guidelines. No association was found between numeracy and cancer screening practices.

Conclusions : Adequate numeracy was not a key determinant of cancer screening.

Keywords: breast cancer; colorectal cancer; literacy; numeracy; screening

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2007

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.
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