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Helen Forristal



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    MA22 - Partnering with Patients to Understand Stigma, Disparities and Values Leading to Improved Lung Cancer Care (ID 154)

    • Event: WCLC 2019
    • Type: Mini Oral Session
    • Track: Advocacy
    • Presentations: 1
    • Now Available
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      MA22.09 - Challenging Negative Stereotypes Around Lung Cancer in Ireland (Now Available) (ID 1849)

      15:45 - 17:15  |  Author(s): Helen Forristal

      • Abstract
      • Presentation
      • Slides

      Background

      In excess of 2,500 people in Ireland receive a lung cancer diagnosis each year, with over 1,800 people dying from the disease. However, general awareness around lung cancer and its associated symptoms are low. This combined with a lack of screening, and the perceived stigma around the disease contributes to the majority of patients presenting with late stage disease. With this in mind, the Marie Keating Foundation launched the ‘I Am Lung Cancer’ campaign to challenge negative stereotypes and perceptions around lung cancer and increase awareness of early signs and symptoms.

      Method

      This project consisted of (i) an online survey to assess knowledge of, and attitudes towards lung cancer and (ii) an awareness campaign. The survey was designed by the Marie Keating Foundation and conducted by Empathy Research across a nationally representative sample of 1,017 adults aged 18 or older. Quotas were placed on gender, age, social class and region with weighting applied to ensure final data was representative of these quotas. The multifaceted ‘’I Am Lung Cancer’ campaign was headed by three ambassadors who have been impacted by lung cancer, and included a radio advertisement, video, updated website content and a social media campaign to promote key campaign messages.

      Result

      Data from the survey demonstrated that less than one in five (16%) Irish adults claim to be well informed when it comes to the signs and symptoms of lung cancer. In terms of attitudes around lung cancer, over a quarter (27%) believe that non-smokers who developed lung cancer should have their treatment prioritised over those who had a smoking history. Almost a fifth (17%) of the Irish public believe that health insurers shouldn’t cover treatment for patients with lung cancer who smoke. Just over a third (34%) agreed that patients with lung cancer face stigma from the public that other patients with cancer don’t face; with one in 10 finding this stigma acceptable. The three ambassadors were central to all aspects of the #IAmLungCancer campaign, with good coverage across national print and broadcast media (reach over 3 million) and online media. On Facebook the campaign reach was over 190,000 and 48,000 on Twitter, with good engagement from the public.

      Conclusion

      This research identified a worrying lack of symptom awareness as well as distressing attitudes towards people impacted by lung cancer. We believe that the campaign, which humanises lung cancer helped to tackle both of these important issues.

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