• Attitudes, Knowledge, and Beliefs on Cancer and its Prevention in Northwestern Rural Alaska

      Schmidt, Jenna (2012)
      Rural Alaskans face unique challenges in accessibility. Most villages and cities are not connected to road systems, limiting travel between rural and urban areas. This also limits connectivity between small communities. Residents rely heavily on air travel. The accessibility of health care and education is limited due to geographical isolation of communities (State of Alaska, 2006). The State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (2009) cites cancer as the leading cause of death in Alaska since 1993. Early detection and treatment is key as it reduces the risk of mortality due to different forms of cancer. Accessibility of cancer education, screening, treatment, and other needs are restricted by cost and the availability of transportation (State of Alaska, 2006). This study aims to provide regionally relevant information focusing on current Northwestern rural Alaskan knowledge, beliefs, and perspectives on cancer and its prevention. Assessment of these topics will provide useful information to rural Alaskan health care providers. The information can be used by these providers to focus their resources toward needed areas. This can help in the provision of a tailored health education approach, which may increase effectiveness of educational communication to each distinct community.