Objectives: Many cancer patients experience social difficulties and feelings of isolation. This study aimed to evaluate patients’ and attendees’ attitudes towards cancer patients. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted of patients and attendees attending Sultan Qaboos University Hospital (SQUH), Muscat, Oman, from December 2018 to March 2019. Results: A total of 1,190 people participated (response rate: 91.5%). The majority (90.7%) did not express reluctance to help cancer patients. Most agreed that cancer patients were productive (76.2%) and are respected by the public (75.0%). However, many participants (63.1%) felt that cancer patients might face difficulties getting married. Multivariate analysis showed that participants who had a family history of cancer or had previously been a caregiver for cancer patients were more likely to believe that cancer patients could be productive (odds ratio [OR] = 1.92, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.31-2.82; P <0.05). Less-educated participants were more likely to believe that cancer patients feared not being productive (OR = 1.49, 95% CI: 1.01-2.19; P <0.05). Male and single participants were more likely to perceive that cancer patients faced difficulties getting married (OR = 1.56, 95% CI: 1.20-2.02 and OR = 1.68, 95% CI: 1.22-2.32, respectively; P <0.05 each). Conclusion: Patients and attendees attending SQUH in Oman appeared to have positive and supportive attitudes towards cancer patients, although some felt that cancer patients might encounter social obstacles. Healthcare professionals should consider reassuring cancer patients of such positive sentiments. Governmental and non-governmental organisations should act to promote a supportive environment for cancer patients in Oman.
- Surveys and Questionnaires
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