Associations Between Cancer Fatalism, Causal Attributions, and Perceptions of Benefits and Barriers to Screening for Colorectal Cancer

Miri Cohen, Michal Rosenfeld, Lee Greenblatt-Kimron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The aim of the study was to assess the associations between cancer causal attributions (divine providence, chance or luck, environmental or genetic factors, weak personal resilience), cancer fatalistic beliefs (cancer occurrence and outcome beliefs), and benefits of and barriers to screening for early detection of colorectal cancer. Methods: It was a cross-sectional study of 252 individuals (46% men and 54% women) aged 50–75. Participants completed measures of cancer causal attributions, Powe’s cancer fatalism questionnaire, and the benefits and barriers to colorectal cancer screening subscales of the health belief model. The study model was assessed using path analysis and mediation tests. Results: Participants expressed moderate levels of occurrence and outcome of fatalistic beliefs, moderate levels of causal attributions, a high level of perception of the benefits of screening, and a moderate level of barriers to screening. The path model showed good fit measures (χ2 = 17.38, df = 14, p =.24; χ2/df = 1.24; NFI =.98; TLI =.99; CFI =.99; RMSEA =.03, 90% CI =.01,.07). Outcome fatalism mediated the relationship between each causal attribution and perceived barriers, whereas occurrence fatalism mediated only the relationship between the causal attribution of divine providence and the perceived benefits of screening. Conclusions: The results add to our understanding of the effects of causal attributions and fatalistic beliefs on perceptions of benefits and barriers to screening; hence, these factors should be the focus of change to reduce barriers to screening for early detection of cancer.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, International Society of Behavioral Medicine.

Keywords

  • Barriers to screening
  • Benefits of screening
  • Cancer
  • Cancer fatalism
  • Causal attribution
  • Colorectal cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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