Exploring the association between religiosity, spirituality and cancer screening behavior: a longitudinal analysis of Alberta’s Tomorrow Project
MetadataShow full item record
Background: This thesis examined the effect of religiosity/spirituality (R/S) on breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer screening behaviour. Over two-thirds of Canadians identify with some form of religion or spirituality. R/S can affect the intentions, beliefs and behaviours of individuals. Many religious and spiritual practices place an emphasis on the preservation of health. Breast, prostate and colorectal cancers account for a large proportion of cancers in Canada. Screening is an effective form of secondary prevention for cancer. R/S may provide a platform of positive influence to encourage greater cancer screening. Objective: Data from Alberta’s Tomorrow Project (ATP) were used to explore the longitudinal association between R/S and breast, prostate and colorectal cancer screening behaviour. Methods: ATP participants between 35 and 70 years, without a history of chronic disease at baseline, were included in the analysis. For longitudinal analysis, participants had a minimum of one post-baseline screening datapoint. R/S was measured through two variables: Salience and Attendance. R/S Salience assessed the importance of religion or spirituality to ATP participants, asking them: “Do spirituality values or faith play an important role in your life?” Response options for R/S Salience were “Yes” or “No.” R/S Attendance assessed whether participants attended religious or spiritual services, with response options being limited to “Attends” or “Does Not Attend.” Multivariable logistic regression models were built for each R/S and cancer screening variable separately. All models were adjusted for age, social support, income, occupation, education, sex, marital status, perceived health, and smoking status. Results: Due to the large proportion of women undergoing mammography (69% at baseline and 95% at the final follow-up period), breast cancer screening was assessed cross-sectionally. Neither R/S Salience nor R/S Attendance were found to be statistically significantly associated with breast cancer screening (odds ratio [OR]=1.10, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.93-1.27, and OR:1.02, 95% CI: 0.86-1.21, respectively). Longitudinal analysis revealed that R/S Salience and R/S Attendance were also not statistically significantly associated with prostate cancer screening (OR:0.90, 95% CI: 0.68-1.19, and OR:1.18, 95% CI: 0.88-1.59, respectively). Only models for R/S and colorectal cancer screening produced statistically significant results. ATP participants who responded “Yes” to R/S Salience (compared to ‘No’), and participants who attended (versus not attended) religious or spiritual services (R/S Attendance), had 1.4 times (95% CI: 1.15-1.73) or 1.5 times (95% CI: 1.12-1.89) greater odds of obtaining a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy, respectively. Discussion: This thesis provided a Canadian context for the association between R/S and cancer screening, and added to the literature by incorporating both cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses; the preservation of temporality allowed us to examine whether the effects of R/S persisted over time. The current analyses were conducted using persons drawn from a large, population-based study encompassing a sample of adults aged between 35 and 70 years (n=5,014-11,977). This thesis suggested that R/S may have a positive influence on the cancer screening behaviours of Canadians. Future research should explore whether public health officials can leverage the effects of R/S to help increase the incidence of screening for cancers in populations where screening behaviour remains low.
Cite this version of the work
Susan Mirabi (2020). Exploring the association between religiosity, spirituality and cancer screening behavior: a longitudinal analysis of Alberta’s Tomorrow Project. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/15884