Swiss Paediatric Oncology Group (SPOG) Scientific Committee: PD Dr med M. Beck Popovic, Lausanne; PD Dr med. J. Richewski, Lucerne; Dr med U. Caflisch, Lucerne; Dr med J. Greiner, St. Gallen; Dr med. H. Hengartner, St. Gallen; Prof. Dr med A. Hirt, Bern; Dr med. R. Angst, Aarau; Prof. Dr med. M Paulussen, Basel; Prof. Dr med T. Kuehne, Basel; Prof. Dr med F. Niggli, Zurich; PD. Dr med. M Grotzer, Zurich; Dr med. P. Brazzola, Ticino; Dr med L. Nobile Buetti, Ticino; PD Dr med A. H. Ozsahin, Geneva.
Can health beliefs help in explaining attendance to follow-up care? The Swiss Childhood Cancer Survivor Study
Article first published online: 4 AUG 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume 20, Issue 10, pages 1034–1043, October 2011
How to Cite
Michel, G., Kuehni, C. E., Rebholz, C. E., Zimmermann, K., Eiser, C., Rueegg, C. S., von der Weid, N. X. and for the Swiss Paediatric Oncology Group (SPOG) (2011), Can health beliefs help in explaining attendance to follow-up care? The Swiss Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. Psycho-Oncology, 20: 1034–1043. doi: 10.1002/pon.1823
- Issue published online: 27 SEP 2011
- Article first published online: 4 AUG 2010
- Manuscript Revised: 25 JUN 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 25 JUN 2010
- Manuscript Received: 31 JAN 2010
- childhood cancer;
- health beliefs;
- cohort study
Objective: Improved treatment has increased the survival of childhood cancer patients in recent decades, but follow-up care is recommended to detect and treat late effects. We investigated relationships between health beliefs and follow-up attendance in adult childhood cancer survivors.
Methods: Childhood cancer survivors aged younger than 16 years when diagnosed between 1976 and 2003, who had survived for more than 5 years and were currently aged 20+ years, received a postal questionnaire. We asked survivors whether they attended follow-up in the past year. Concepts from the Health Belief Model (perceived susceptibility and severity of future late effects, potential benefits and barriers to follow-up, general health value and cues to action) were assessed. Medical information was extracted from the Swiss Childhood Cancer Registry.
Results: Of 1075 survivors (response rate 72.3%), 250 (23.3%) still attended regular follow-up care. In unadjusted analyses, all health belief concepts were significantly associated with follow-up (p<0.05). Adjusting for other health beliefs, demographic, and medical variables, only barriers (OR=0.59; 95%CI: 0.43–0.82) remained significant. Younger survivors, those with lower educational background, diagnosed at an older age, treated with chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or bone marrow transplantation and with a relapse were more likely to attend follow-up care.
Conclusions: Our study showed that more survivors at high risk of cancer- and treatment-related late effects attend follow-up care in Switzerland. Patient-perceived barriers hinder attendance even after accounting for medical variables. Information about the potential effectiveness and value of follow-up needs to be available to increase the attendance among childhood cancer survivors. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.