This study evaluated the associations among perceived risk, perceived efficacy, and engagement in six cancer-related risk behaviors in a population-based Hispanic/Latino sample. Interviews were conducted with 5,313 Hispanic/Latino adults as part of the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) Sociocultural Ancillary Study. Participants were recruited from the study's four field centers (Bronx, NY; Chicago, IL; Miami, FL; San Diego, CA) between February 2010 and June 2011. Perceived risk and perceived efficacy were assessed with questions drawn from the Health Interview National Trends Survey. More than half of the sample endorsed perceived risk of cancer associated with the six evaluated behaviors, as well as general perceived efficacy for preventing cancer. Adjusted logistic regression analyses demonstrated significant differences across Hispanic/Latino background groups for perceived risk associated with high consumption of alcohol and saturated fat, low consumption of fruits and vegetables, and insufficient exercise but not with smoking or low consumption of fiber. Differences were also found for the belief, "It seems like everything causes cancer" but not for other perceived efficacy items. Perceived cancer risk and perceived efficacy for preventing cancer were neither independently nor interactively associated with engagement in cancer-related risk behaviors after controlling for sociodemographic covariates. Results suggest that perceptions of risk and efficacy with regard to cancer vary across Hispanic/Latino background groups, and therefore background group differences should be considered in prevention efforts. Perceived risk and perceived efficacy were not related to cancer-related risk behaviors among Hispanics/Latinos. Further work is needed to evaluate determinants of cancer-related risk in this population.
Keywords: HINTS; Hispanic/Latino; cancer; health behaviors; perceived efficacy; perceived risk.