Although cancer population is growing, very few research efforts have been devoted to understanding the impacts of cancer cognitions and emotion on both cancer information and general health information seeking behaviors among people without cancer diagnosis using a nationally representative survey. The present study drew on data from 2007 Health Information National Trends Survey and built two hierarchical logistic regression models to elucidate the differences between information seekers and non-seekers in terms of sociodemographic, cancer cognitions (controllability and locus of causation) and worry. Controllability, a motivational construct for predicting adaptive behaviors, was statistically significantly associated with cancer information seeking (OR=1.38) and general health information seeking (OR=1.67); i.e., the more the respondents thought they can do to prevent cancer, the more likely they sought information. Cancer worry, a general and normative worry about developing cancer, is statistically significantly associated with cancer information seeking (OR=0.68); i.e., the more frequent the respondents worry about getting cancer, the more likely they sought cancer information. Locus of causation, measuring whether people make internal or external attribution, was not statistically significantly associated with cancer information seeking; but people who attribute causes of cancer to their own behavior or lifestyle are more likely to seek information. Cancer information seekers are more likely to be older (OR=0.99), female (OR=0.63), Non-Hispanic White (OR=1.48), married (OR=1.06), more highly educated (OR=0.76), and with family cancer history (OR=2.16). Results for general health information seeking were presented in the following table. Results of this study are generalizable for considering how to raise public awareness of cancer prevention and allocate health educational resources.

Table 1.

Hierarchal Logistic Regression Models of Health Information Seeking

VariableBOR95% CI
Age*** 0.013 1.013 (1.009, 1.017) 
Gender*** −0.546 0.579 (0.506, 0.663) 
Race***    
Hispanic*** 1.132 3.101 (1.700, 5.657) 
Non-Hispanic White*** 0.743 2.101 (1.185, 3.727) 
Black or African American** 0.938 2.555 (1.404, 4.651) 
American Indian/Alaska Native*** 1.419 4.132 (1.749, 9.764) 
Asian*** 1.569 4.802 (2.472, 9.328) 
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander −0.356 0.701 (0.123, 3.980) 
Marital status*** 0.126 1.134 (1.095, 1.174) 
Education*** −0.462 0.630 (0.603, 0.658) 
Family history of Cancer*** 0.324 1.382 (1.199, 1.594) 
Controllability*** 0.510 1.665 (1.296, 2.139) 
Cancer worry −0.099 0.906 (0.648, 1.266) 
Locus of causation 0.138 1.148 (0.927, 1.422) 
Controllability.Cancer worry −0.036 0.964 (0.878, 1.059) 
Controllability.Locus of causation −0.050 0.951 (0.887, 1.019) 
Cancer worry.Locus of causation −0.042 0.959 (0.871, 1.055) 
VariableBOR95% CI
Age*** 0.013 1.013 (1.009, 1.017) 
Gender*** −0.546 0.579 (0.506, 0.663) 
Race***    
Hispanic*** 1.132 3.101 (1.700, 5.657) 
Non-Hispanic White*** 0.743 2.101 (1.185, 3.727) 
Black or African American** 0.938 2.555 (1.404, 4.651) 
American Indian/Alaska Native*** 1.419 4.132 (1.749, 9.764) 
Asian*** 1.569 4.802 (2.472, 9.328) 
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander −0.356 0.701 (0.123, 3.980) 
Marital status*** 0.126 1.134 (1.095, 1.174) 
Education*** −0.462 0.630 (0.603, 0.658) 
Family history of Cancer*** 0.324 1.382 (1.199, 1.594) 
Controllability*** 0.510 1.665 (1.296, 2.139) 
Cancer worry −0.099 0.906 (0.648, 1.266) 
Locus of causation 0.138 1.148 (0.927, 1.422) 
Controllability.Cancer worry −0.036 0.964 (0.878, 1.059) 
Controllability.Locus of causation −0.050 0.951 (0.887, 1.019) 
Cancer worry.Locus of causation −0.042 0.959 (0.871, 1.055) 

Note a. Reported values are coefficients in the third block of the regression analysis

Note b. * p<.05; ** p<.01; *** p<.001

Note c. This table contains results from the second hierarchical logistic regression model of GENERAL HEALTH information seeking with sociodemographic, cancer cognition, and emotion variables. Given the space limitation, I reported results from the first hierarchical logistic regression model (CANCER INFORMATION seeking) in the above abstract.

Citation Format: Xiaofei He. The roles of cancer worry and attribution in health and cancer information seeking: An analysis of 2007 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS). [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 104th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2013 Apr 6-10; Washington, DC. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2013;73(8 Suppl):Abstract nr 1371. doi:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2013-1371