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Factors Associated with the Detection of Childhood and Adolescent Cancer in Primary Health Care: A Prospective Cross-Sectional Study

Authors Soares Martins QC, Gomes de Morais Fernandes FC, Pereira Santos VE, Guerra Azevedo I, Góes de Carvalho Nascimento LS, dos Santos Xavier CC, Alves Pereira S

Received 28 August 2019

Accepted for publication 20 January 2020

Published 30 March 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 329—337


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Quenia Camille Soares Martins,1,2 Fábia Cheyenne Gomes de Morais Fernandes,2 Viviane Euzébia Pereira Santos,1 Ingrid Guerra Azevedo,2,3 Lamech Simplício Góes de Carvalho Nascimento,2 Cynthia Cibelle dos Santos Xavier,1 Silvana Alves Pereira1,4

1Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, UFRN, Natal, Brazil; 2Ana Bezerra University Hospital, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, UFRN, Natal, Brazil; 3Departamento de Recursos Terapeuticos, Universidad Católica de Temuco, Temuco, La Araucania, Chile; 4Public Health Program of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, FACISA/UFRN, Natal, Brazil

Correspondence: Silvana Alves Pereira
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Departamento de Fisioterapia, Campus Universitário Lagoa Nova, CEP 59078-970, Caixa Postal 1524, Natal, RN, Brazil
Tel +55 84 99181 8144
Email [email protected]

Background: The treatment of childhood cancer has achieved important advances evidencing a significant increase in overall survival; however, the diagnosis of these cases still seems late. Among the main causes for the delay in diagnosis are the issues related to the health system and the first professional who performs the care. The objective of this study is to evaluate the knowledge of primary care physicians and nurses about the most common signs and symptoms of pediatric cancers, as well as the factors related to the obtained scores.
Methods: This is a prospective cross-sectional study, developed in municipalities in the northeastern region of Brazil. Fifty-one professionals (physicians and nurses) were interviewed through a questionnaire structured as a quiz game about knowledge, training and attitudes regarding the signs and symptoms of childhood cancer. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to evaluate the effect of professional characteristics on the number of correct answers on the implemented questionnaire on knowledge of childhood and adolescent cancer.
Results: In the bivariate analysis, the results indicated that the type of employment relationship influences the number of correct answers in the questionnaire used. However, when adjusted for covariates, only the professional category, which means being a medical professional, showed a significant effect on the number of correct answers (β=− 7.50, p=0.001).
Conclusion: The type of employment relationship of medical professionals and nurses working in primary care had an influence on the number of correct answers for knowledge of childhood and adolescent cancer, but only the professional category (physician) was associated with the highest number when controlled by covariables, thereby justifying the need to improve the curricular training of nurses and greater investments in primary health care for continuing health education that includes infant and adolescent oncology.

Keywords: primary health care, early diagnosis, cancer

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