Date of Conferral
Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
Zimbabwean men at risk of developing prostate cancer (PC) are diagnosed late or not at all. A cross sectional, quantitative study was done in Zimbabwe to establish physicians' attitudes and beliefs towards PC screening and diagnosis. Descriptive statistics were obtained to determine physicians' beliefs and attitudes using the Physician Attitudes and Beliefs Questionnaire Survey. The instrument incorporated validated instruments, the Burns' Cancer Belief Scale and Physician Survey on Prostate Cancer Screening, and demographic questions to measure specific independent variables, potentially influencing attitudes and beliefs. Means and standard deviations were conducted for continuous variables for beliefs and attitudes, and frequencies and percentages for categorical variables were calculated. Data from 206 respondents were analyzed utilizing multiple regression and MANOVA analysis to determine significance. The average Belief score was 3.96 (SD = 1.04), which reflected an overall belief score falling in the neutral range of response options. Linear regression results were significant, F(19, 178) = 2.09, p = 0.007, R2 = 0.18, suggesting that screening, stage of cancer, gender, training location, culture, total years in practice, and specialty accounted for 18% of the variance in Belief score. Attitude score predicted by screening (p = .000), stage of cancer (p = .005), race (p = .000), and culture (p = .020), was also significant. Screening and training location were significant predictors. Results will benefit physicians improve their attitudes using suggested continued education, resulting in improved screening practices and PC diagnosis. The public health system will potentially see PC death rates decline over time increasing life expectancy.