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One in five less likely to attend cancer screenings post-pandemic

A collaborative research study, involving researchers from King’s, Cardiff University and University of Surrey, has investigated the opinions people have of cancer screenings post-pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruption to cancer screening services, with the UK’s national cancer screening programmes effectively being paused from March-June last year. Invitations are being sent out again now, but there remains a significant backlog of people waiting for these.

As part of the COVID Health and Help-Seeking Behaviour Study, a team of researchers carried out a UK-wide survey of 7,543 adults to assess attitudes towards cancer prevention and early diagnosis during the pandemic. They analysed the data of two sub-groups, each with over 2,000 respondents who were eligible for cervical or bowel cancer screening.

While the majority of participants eligible for cervical and/or bowel screening said they would definitely participate in their next screening, a significant minority of them said they would generally be ‘less likely’ to attend screening now than before the pandemic. Three-quarters (approx. 75%) also said they were worried about delays to cancer tests and investigations, and to screenings, that are caused by COVID-19.

A follow-up study interviewed a small number of these respondents, which highlighted some of the barriers of these screenings that people may be experiencing, such as fear of COVID-19 infection and uncertainty around social distancing procedures.

The researchers have urged the Government and health services to consider how best to return screening participation pre-pandemic levels, as quickly as possible. 

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Upcoming Events

IPS 2021

ACC Liverpool
27th - 29th September

The Operating Theatres Show 2021

Hilton Metropole Hotel, London
7th October

Future Surgery 2021

ExCel London
9th - 10th November 2021

Medica 2021

Dusseldorf Germany
15th - 18th November

Arab Health 2022

Dubai World Trade Centre
24th - 27th January

Central Sterilising Club 60th Anniversary Annual Scientific Meeting

Crowne Plaza, Bridge Foot, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6YR
4th - 5th April

Access the latest issue of Clinical Services Journal on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Clinical Services Journal app from your device's App store

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