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The role of chronic conditions in influencing symptom attribution and anticipated help-seeking for potential lung cancer symptoms: a vignette-based study

Kaushal, Aradhna, Waller, Jo, von Wagner, Christian, Kummer, Sonja, Whitaker, Katriina, Puri, Aishwarya, Lyratzopoulos, Georgios and Renzi, Christina (2020) The role of chronic conditions in influencing symptom attribution and anticipated help-seeking for potential lung cancer symptoms: a vignette-based study British Journal of General Practice.

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Abstract

Background: Very little is known about the influence of chronic conditions on symptom attribution and help-seeking for potential cancer symptoms. Aim: We aimed to determine if symptom attribution and anticipated help-seeking for potential lung cancer symptoms is influenced by pre-existing respiratory conditions (often referred to as comorbidity) such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Design and Setting: 2 143 adults (1081 with and 1062 without a respiratory condition) took part in an online vignette survey. Method: The vignette described potential lung cancer symptoms (persistent cough and breathlessness) after which questions were asked on symptom attribution and anticipated help-seeking. Results: Attribution of symptoms to cancer was similar in participants with and without respiratory conditions (22%). Participants with respiratory conditions, compared to those without, were more likely to attribute the new or changing cough and breathlessness to asthma or COPD (adjusted odds ratio=3.64, 95% CI=3.02,4.39). Overall, 56.5% of participants reported intention to seek help from a GP within 3 weeks if experiencing the potential lung cancer symptoms. Having a respiratory condition increased the odds of prompt help-seeking (OR=1.25, 95% CI=1.04,1.49). Regular healthcare appointments was associated with higher odds of anticipated help-seeking. Conclusions: Only 1 in 5 participants identified persistent cough and breathlessness as potential cancer symptoms, and half said they would promptly seek help from a GP, indicating scope for promoting help-seeking for new or changing symptoms. Chronic respiratory conditions did not appear to interfere with anticipated help-seeking, which might be explained by regular appointments to manage chronic conditions.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Kaushal, Aradhna
Waller, Jo
von Wagner, Christian
Kummer, Sonja
Whitaker, Katriinak.whitaker@surrey.ac.uk
Puri, Aishwarya
Lyratzopoulos, Georgios
Renzi, Christina
Date : 9 March 2020
Uncontrolled Keywords : Lung Diseases, Obstructive Lung Neoplasms General practice Primary Health Care Awareness Health knowledge
Depositing User : James Marshall
Date Deposited : 09 Mar 2020 15:24
Last Modified : 09 Mar 2020 15:24
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/853888

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