The Effect of Fear of COVID-19 on Women's Attitudes toward Cancer Screening and Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors: A Cross-Sectional Study

Indian J Gynecol Oncol. 2023;21(2):45. doi: 10.1007/s40944-023-00719-3. Epub 2023 May 16.

Abstract

Purpose: The study was conducted to evaluate the effect of fear of COVID-19 on women's attitudes toward cancer screening and healthy lifestyle behaviors.

Method: The study is of descriptive and cross-sectional type. The sample of the study consisted of 221 women living in Turkey. Research data were collected using Introductory Information Form, Attitude Scale for Cancer Screening, The Fear of COVID-19 Scale and Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors Scale II (HLBS-II).

Results: It was found out that 92.3% of the women did not have cancer screening during the pandemic period, 33.0% of the women who did not have it because they were afraid of the contamination, 33.0% thought they were healthy, 13.1% did not have screening tests because they thought that screening tests were not easy and accessible during the pandemic period. While no significant relationship was found between women's attitudes toward cancer screenings and fear of COVID-19 (P > 0.05), a positive significant relationship was found between women's attitudes toward cancer screenings and spiritual growth, health responsibility and interpersonal relations scores, which are sub-dimensions of the HLBS-II scale (P > 0.05). In addition, it was found out that women's fear of COVID-19 affected interpersonal relations and stress management (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: In our study, it was concluded that most of the women did not have cancer screening during the pandemic, and that the fear of COVID-19 affected such healthy lifestyle behaviors as interpersonal relations and stress management.

Keywords: Cancer screening; Fear of COVID-19; Healthy lifestyle behaviors.