Medical News
November 2, 1964

`Head-in-Sand' Attitude Toward Serious Diseases Denounced

JAMA. 1964;190(5):41. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070180095051

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Many Americans have a head-inthe-sand attitude toward such serious diseases as cancer and tuberculosis, believing that the disease will strike a large number of others, but still they behave "as if they don't want to know that the serious disease can happen to them individually."

This was the conclusion reached after an 18-month study by members of the University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor. The report, prepared by Irwin M. Rosenstock, PhD, Don P. Haefner, PhD, S. Stephen Kegeles, PhD, and John P. Kirscht, PhD, was presented during the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association Oct 5-9 in New York.

The investigators said that this attitude is most pronounced by the public in regard to cancer. They noted that it can have dangerous implications if it causes the individual to put off seeking medical care during early stages of disease.

In the study, 1,500 persons

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