Improving outcomes in cancer diagnosis, prevention and control: barriers, facilitators and the need for health literacy in Ibadan Nigeria

Adebola A. Adedimeji, David W. Lounsbury, Oluwafemi Popoola, Chioma Asuzu, Akinmayowa Lawal, V. Oladoyin, Cassandra Crifase, Ilir Agalliu, Shankar Viswanathan, Akindele Adebiyi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Background: Cancers constitute a significant public health problem in Nigeria. Breast, cervix and prostate cancers are leading causes of cancer-related deaths. Changing diets, lifestyles, HIV/AIDS and macro-structural factors contribute to cancer morbidity and mortality. Poor health information linking cancer risk to individual behaviors, environmental pollutants and structural barriers undermine prevention/control efforts. Studies suggest increasing health literacy and empowering individuals to take preventive action will improve outcomes and mitigate impact on a weak health system. Methods: We obtained qualitative data from 80 men, women, and young adults in 11 focus groups to assess beliefs, risk-perceptions, preventive behaviors and perceptions of barriers and facilitators to cancer control in Ibadan, Nigeria and conducted thematic analysis. Results: Participants demonstrated awareness of cancers and mentioned several risk factors related to individual behaviors and the environment. Nonetheless, myths and misconceptions as well as micro, meso and macro level barriers impede prevention and control efforts. Conclusion: Developing and implementing comprehensive context-relevant health literacy interventions in community settings are urgently needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1455-1462
Number of pages8
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this