Cancer control knowledge, attitudes, and perceived skills among medical students

UMMS Affiliation

Meyers Primary Care Institute; Department of Family Medicine and Community Health; Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Adult; Analysis of Variance; Data Collection; Education, Medical, Undergraduate; *Educational Measurement; Female; *Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice; Humans; Male; Massachusetts; Medical Oncology; Neoplasms; Students, Medical


Education | Health Services Research | Neoplasms


BACKGROUND: The Cancer Prevention and Control Education (CPACE) program aims to strengthen and coordinate curriculum offerings in cancer prevention and control for medical, graduate nursing and public health students.

METHODS: Students were surveyed on cancer-related knowledge and confidence as part of needs assessment and evaluation efforts. The students completed self-administered surveys (response rate 78%). Descriptive and stratified analysis and ANOVA were conducted.

RESULTS: Knowledge and confidence generally increased with each successive class year, but confidence varied markedly across specific counseling scenarios and by gender. While the students overall reported greater confidence in performing an examination than in interpreting the results, confidence varied significantly across specific types of examinations.

CONCLUSIONS: Understanding of basic information about common cancers was disappointing. Confidence to perform and interpret examinations could be higher, especially for opposite-gender screening examinations. Implications of the findings for CPACE curriculum development are discussed.

DOI of Published Version



J Cancer Educ. 2000 Summer;15(2):73-8. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of cancer education : the official journal of the American Association for Cancer Education

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID