Attitudes towards cancer. Development of the cancer attitudes questionnaire

Allen H. Lebovits, Lila G. Croen, Ronnie Z. Goetzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


A questionnaire evaluating attitudes towards cancer (the Cancer Attitudes Questionnaire) was constructed to compare the attitudes of first‐year medical students before and after taking a clinical oncology program with those of students who did not participate in the program. A factor and reliability analysis revealed five underlying factors that explained 42% of the variance and reliabilities ranging from 0.55 to 0.79. An analysis of covariance revealed that students who participated in the clinical oncology program were more positively predisposed toward the outpatient functioning of cancer patients (P < 0.04) at the conclusion of the year than students who did not take the course; the participating students were also somewhat less pessimistic toward the disease (P < 0.07). Women (regardless of whether they had taken the course) assigned significantly greater importance to the patient's and family's attitudes in relation to outcome of disease (P = 0.03) than did male students. It appears that an early medical educational oncology experience emphasizing contact with ambulatory cancer patients can apprecibly alter the attitudes of first‐year medical students towards cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1124-1129
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 15 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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