An examination of cancer literacy among Appalachian versus non-Appalachian Kentucky college students

Jerry Derringer, Nathan L. Vanderford, Lisa Middleton, Lindsay E. Cormier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Examine factors contributing to high rates of Appalachian female cancer incidences and mortalities by examining cancer literacy and associated sociological influences among Appalachian university students. Participants: This study evaluated Appalachian and non-Appalachian undergraduate students in Eastern Kentucky. Methods: A Qualtrics survey was disseminated which categorized questions into three parts: demographic, female focused cancer literacy, and cancer care access. Results: Overall cancer literacy was low (67.45%, 139 respondents); no difference was found in Appalachian standing. Male students had lower scores (p < 0.05), and both cancer-related majors (p < 0.001) and enhanced academic years (p < 0.05) improved cancer literacy. Limited awareness of mobile cancer screening units was found across respondents, along with, decreased access to health services indicated by Appalachian students (p < 0.05). Conclusions: College students represent a population in need of enhanced cancer education. Improving knowledge about accessing healthcare including cancer screenings could reduce Appalachian cancer rates.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of American College Health
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Appalachia
  • cancer
  • disparities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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