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1.  Self-reported bowel screening rates in older Australians and the implications for public health screening programs 
The Australasian Medical Journal  2013;6(8):411-417.
Background
This paper sought to determine the status of older Australians with regard to Bowel Cancer screening practices occurring outside of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.
Method
A random sample of N=25,511 urban Australians aged 50 to 74 years received a questionnaire via mail asking questions relating to bowel screening. N=8,762 (34.3%) returned a completed questionnaire.
Results
Approximately 33% (N=2863) of respondents indicated they had undergone colonoscopy in the preceding five years and 21% (N=1840) had used a Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) in the preceding 12 months. Furthermore, 27% (N=497) of those who had completed an FOBT had also undergone colonoscopy.
Conclusion
A significant proportion of older Australians might be participating in bowel screening practices outside of the national program (NBCSP). Moreover, the proportion of individuals reporting use of both FOBT and endoscopic services is much higher than the positivity rate of FOBT. Large population FOBT screening programs, such as the NBCSP, that do not consider participation in screening external to the program may underestimate true population screening rates.
doi:10.4066/AMJ.2013.1808
PMCID: PMC3767029  PMID: 24039635
Colorectal Cancer Screening; Faecal Occult Blood Test; National Bowel Cancer Screening Program; Screening Participation
2.  Internet usage and openness to internet-delivered health information among Australian adults aged over 50 years 
The Australasian Medical Journal  2012;5(5):262-267.
Background
The cost of healthcare in Australia's ageing population is ever increasing. In an attempt to reduce these rising costs, the internet has been suggested as a possible means of disseminating health-related information and promoting preventive health behaviours.
Objective
Our objective was to determine the proportion of Australians aged 50-74 years who have internet access, and the characteristics of internet usage, current online health information seeking behaviour, and the willingness to receive unsolicited health information via the Internet.
Method
A random sample of N=25,511 urban older Australians aged 50 to 74 years received a questionnaire via mail and were asked to complete questions concerning variables related to internet usage. N=8,762 returned a competed questionnaire.
Results
Eighty-two per cent of respondents reported having internet access, mainly at home (94%), and the majority actively use this technology (93%). Younger people and those of higher socio-economic status and higher education were more likely to have access (p<.001). Approximately 61% reported actively seeking health-related information online but only 32% expressed a willingness to receive unsolicited health information via the internet. Females were more likely to currently search for health-related information than males but were less likely to be open to receiving unsolicited health information (both p<.001).
Conclusion
According to the data it appears the majority of urban Australians aged over 50 have access to the internet at some location and 60% of them use the internet for health-related purposes. The data also suggests, however, that delivering health information via the internet alone would disadvantage those who are older, less educated, and less financially well-off.
doi:10.4066/AMJ.2012.1065
PMCID: PMC3395285  PMID: 22848321
Internet Usage; Personalised Decision Support; Cancer Screening

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