Assessing Information Needs Regarding Metabolic Syndrome Among Gynecological Cancer Survivors: A Concurrent Mixed Method

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Abstract

Background

Cancer survivors have an increased risk of non–cancer-related deaths, particularly metabolic syndrome (MetS).

Objective

We aimed to assess knowledge deficits regarding metabolism-related diseases among gynecological cancer survivors and the preferred source of health information.

Methods

Using a mixed methods approach, 70 participants responded to a structured modified version of the MetS questionnaire. We conducted 28 semistructured interviews of gynecological cancer survivors with MetS. Responses were independently coded by 2 researchers, including MetS knowledge, behaviors for self-management, and preferred learning methods.

Results

Metabolic syndrome was diagnosed in 17% of the participants. More than 50% of the participants wanted to learn about MetS and requested a consultation with healthcare providers, 70% reported that they had heard of MetS, and 61.4% reported that they had MetS-related knowledge (correct answer rate by MetS-related component, ~50%). The level of MetS-related knowledge was poor in both the quantitative and qualitative data. Most of the participants defined MetS-related self-management health behaviors as regular eating and exercise in their own words. Participants mostly wanted exercise management (29% of the participants), followed by dietary life management (27.4%), stress management (17.4%), weight management (13.7%), definition and diagnostic methods of MetS (9.1%), and smoking and drinking management (3.3%). Participants wished to use a handbook in small groups or receive counseling by healthcare providers.

Conclusion

We observed poor awareness and knowledge level and the need for information regarding MetS among gynecological cancer survivors.

Implications for Practice

An educational handbook or counseling could effectively improve self-management of health-related behaviors.

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