What should laypersons know about cancer? Towards an operational definition of cancer literacy

Nicola Diviani, Peter J. Schulz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To operationally define cancer literacy, understanding which aspects of cancer are important to be known by a layperson to be considered cancer literate. Methods: A Delphi study in three consecutive rounds was conducted among a panel of Swiss cancer experts (oncologists, GPs, nurses from oncology wards, social workers, public health experts). Results: The result of the Delphi process is a first operational definition of the concept of cancer literacy, a list of the aspects of cancer that, in the expert's view, laypeople should know to be considered cancer literate. Conclusions: We have now an idea of what should be known about cancer. The study also provides us with some useful hints about what should be communicated about cancer, e.g. via public communication campaigns, school education, or media. Practice implications: The operational definition of the concept can be used for the development and the validation of a measure of cancer literacy, not anymore limited to basic literacy and numeracy skills.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-492
Number of pages6
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Volume85
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2011

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Cancer literacy
  • Delphi study
  • Health literacy

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