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P53 Pilot cancer roadshow events in deprived areas: improved public knowledge and intention to seek medical care for health concerns
  1. Vikram Niranjan1,
  2. Patricia Fitzpatrick1,
  3. Rachel Morrogh2,
  4. Kevin O’Hagan2
  1. 1School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sport Sciences, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  2. 2Irish Cancer Society, Dublin, Ireland


Background Early detection and diagnosis of cancer is essential to improve outcomes. The Covid 19 pandemic has resulted in a growing backlog of patients with cancer symptoms who have not presented or are waiting for urgent time-critical diagnostic services. It is generally agreed that this disruption will lead to later stage presentation and increased cancer mortality in the coming years. In response the Irish Cancer Society (ICS) planned and delivered a number of cancer roadshow events at 4 regions in Ireland. The aim was to 1) encourage people to make positive lifestyle changes 2) increase awareness of cancer symptoms 3) improve medical care-seeking behaviour for the early signs of cancer seeking.

Methods Motivational interviewing by health care professionals (nurses and trained Irish Cancer Society Volunteers) was used. Health checks were conducted (Blood Pressure, BMI & CO2 monitoring). Data was collected via anonymous questionnaire from participants. SPSS was used for analysis.

Results A total of 98 people (54 male, 44 female) participated. More than half of the participants reported good health with no long standing illness. Moderate/high understanding of cancer signs and symptoms and moderate/high awareness of cancer risk factors both rose post event (from 62.2% to 81.6% (p<0.001) and from 49% to 61.2% (p<0.001) respectively). If symptomatic for cancer 77.6% participants would likely visit their GP and 73.5% would likely contact ICS. Those who consulted their GP within 6 months were significantly more likely to consult their GP again if symptomatic (65.4% vs 25.92%; p= 0.02). A majority of participants (72.5%) mentioned that they would likely make changes to their current lifestyle to reduce their cancer risk. Overall, 87.7% found the information provided useful and 84.7% approved of the health check. Nine out of 10 would recommend the event to others and recommended a nationwide roll out. We found statistically significant association that younger people are more likely to consulting healthcare professional if symptomatic (p=0.027) and contacting ICS (p=0.007) for more information.

Conclusion Our findings suggest that community outreach events are feasible and acceptable leading to improved knowledge of cancer prevention, early detection and improved intention to seek help for health concerns. Further evidence is needed with greater numbers to determine the cost-benefit ratio.

  • Healthy behaviour
  • cancer screening
  • health promotion setting
  • health services research

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