41325. Cancer knowledge among HIV-infected patients in an urban academic medical center
Session: Poster Abstract Session: Medical Student Poster Session
Friday, October 4, 2013
Room: Yerba Buena Ballrooms
  • 41325_IDWPOSTER.pdf (812.1 kB)
  • Background: Cancer is a leading cause of mortality among HIV-infected patients who often present with more advanced stage disease. In the general population, lack of cancer knowledge has been associated with late stage presentation of cancer. The objective of this study is to evaluate knowledge of cancer, risk factors, and symptoms in an urban, HIV-infected population that may contribute to the diagnosis of cancer in late stage disease.

    Methods: Questionnaires were administered between April 2011 and October 2012 in the adult outpatient HIV clinics of an urban academic center in Baltimore, MD. Cancer knowledge scores were calculated based on 24 questions. Differences in mean and percent scores by group were assessed using a t-test for independent samples and chi-square analysis, respectively.

    Results: 285 patients completed the survey. Respondents were predominantly male (64%), African-American (86%), and low income (<$10,000/year) (60%). 34 (12%) had been diagnosed with cancer. The mean score for all respondents was 72.9% (SD = 12.4%). Mean scores were not significantly different by sex, age, or income. Respondents with a college education had a significantly higher mean score compared to respondents with less than a high school education (p<0.01). A significantly higher proportion of patients with a personal/family history of cancer (74%) scored in the highest quartile (>70% correct) compared to those without any personal history of cancer (62%) (p = 0.03).

    Conclusion: In a predominantly African-American, urban, HIV-infected population, there was a fair understanding of cancer with higher scores among patients with more education or personal experience with cancer. Continuing to educate HIV-infected patients about common risk factors and symptoms of cancer may lead to earlier detection, improved retention in care after cancer diagnosis, and ultimately better outcomes.

    Lydia H. Fisher, M.D., Internal Medicine, University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, MD, Kristen A. Stafford, M.P.H., Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, Lori E. Fantry, M.D., M.P.H., Institute of Human Virology, Baltimore, MD, Bruce L. Gilliam, M.D., University of Maryland School of Medicine, Institute of Human Virology, Baltimore, MD and David J. Riedel, M.D., Institute of Human Virology and Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD


    L. H. Fisher, None

    K. A. Stafford, None

    L. E. Fantry, None

    B. L. Gilliam, None

    D. J. Riedel, None

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