Cancer-related information seeking and scanning behaviors among older Chinese adults: Examining the roles of fatalistic beliefs and fear

Doris Y.P. Leung, Twiggy T. Chow, Eliza M.L. Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Effective communication in health information plays an important role in health promotion and cancer prevention. Cancer-related information acquisition can happen via active and purposeful seeking, but may also happen less purposely via the routine use of media and interactions withother people (called scanning). We examined seeking and scanning behaviors regarding cancer prevention in older Chinese adults, identified commonly used sources of information of such behaviors, and examined their associations with fatalistic beliefs and cancer fear. A convenience sample of 224 community-dwelling adults aged ≥60 were recruited between May and July in 2013 in Hong Kong. Results suggested that cancer information scanning (79.5%) was more common than information seeking (30.4%) among our participants. Health professional was the most popular sourcefor both scanning (78.7%) and seeking (58.8%) behaviors regarding cancer information. Fatalistic beliefs was significantly and negatively associated with seeking behaviors (OR = 0.50) but not scanning behaviors, and cancer fear showed no relationship with either behavior. This study shows that the cancer information seeking and scanning behaviors were still suboptimal in this age group and adds to the knowledge regarding the associations between fatalistic beliefs and fear with cancer information seeking and scanning behaviors among older Chinese adults.

Original languageEnglish
Article number38
JournalGeriatrics (Switzerland)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • Aged
  • Cancer fear
  • Cancer information
  • Fatalistic beliefs
  • Seeking and scanning behaviors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Gerontology
  • Health(social science)

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