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Sociodemographic Differences in Fears and Mistrust Contributing to Unwillingness to Participate in Cancer Screenings


Effective provider-patient relationships are vital for positive patient health outcomes. This analysis assessed sociodemographic differences in fears and mistrust related to the provider-patient relationship, which may contribute to unwillingness to participate in cancer screenings (CSs). The data are from a stratified, random-digit dial telephone questionnaire of non-institutionalized households in New York, Maryland, and Puerto Rico. Statistically significant results indicate that Hispanics, compared with Whites, were nearly two times more likely to report that fear of being a “guinea pig” and lacking trust in medical people would make them unwilling to participate in CSs. Additionally, those with less education were over two times more likely to indicate a fear of being embarrassed during the screening would make them unwilling to participate in CSs. These results highlight areas where health professionals can improve interactions with their patients and be attentive to their fears and/or mistrusts to promote CSs utilization.

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