Knowledge, Beliefs, and Practices Among Parents Regarding Childhood Brain Tumor and Health Seeking Behavior
Delays in seeking and accessing health care often result in late stage diagnosis of childhood brain tumors (CBTs). Brain tumors are the second most frequent malignancy in children. A lack of awareness by parents and a lack of early detection by health providers are key contributors to delays in health seeking behavior (HSB). The purpose of this study was to assess whether parents' knowledge and perceived susceptibility towards CBT influence or predict their HSB for their children. The relationship between CBT knowledge, HSB among parents, and key constructs of the health belief model (HBM) were examined in this quantitative cross-sectional study. A convenience sample of residents (N = 320) from Crestwood, Illinois, who had children attending elementary school in Fall 2014 completed a 62-item online survey. Findings from bivariate chi-square tests indicate that participants with higher CBT knowledge were more likely to seek health compared to those with low knowledge. Respondents with high HBM perceived severity, perceived benefits, and self-efficacy of CBT groups were associated with a greater intention of HSB. Multivariate regression analyses indicate that HBM self-efficacy, perceived benefits, and health insurance were significant negative predictors of HSB. By yielding a better understanding of delays in HSB, the study may promote better care for children with CBT. If parents recognize CBT symptoms and understand the benefits of early detection, they may be more likely to seek health for their children. Health workers may be more inclined to promote early intervention, which may result in earlier clinical evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and palliative care for CBT patients.