Level of knowledge, attitudes and interest of Turkish high school students towards cancer
Objective: This study investigated Turkish high school students’ knowledge about risk factors for cancer, their interest in the disease, and their affective and behavioural attitudes towards it. Design: Quantitative survey. Setting: Data collection took place in three private schools in Central Turkey and one private school in Eastern Turkey. Method: Students (N=275; 56% female students, 44% male students) completed a paper-and-pencil questionnaire and described their level of knowledge regarding cancer risk factors, as well as their attitudes and interest in the disease. For data analysis, the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS, v.24.0) was used. Results: Results indicated that most students succeeded in identifying nearly all carcinogenic (except for overweight) and non-carcinogenic risk factors. In addition, while most participants held negative attitudes towards cancer, they typically did not exhibit cancer protective behaviours, and most participants were not interested in cancer as a topic. Conclusion: Exploring high school students’ levels of knowledge, attitudes and interests in regard to cancer may provide curriculum developers with information that enables the development of effective cancer education for Turkish high school students.