Why people do not attend health screenings: Factors that influence willingness to participate in health screenings for chronic diseases

Shih Ying Chien*, Ming Chuen Chuang, I-Ping Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background: Chronic diseases are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, and preventative screenings are the most effective way to reduce the risk of developing a chronic disease. However, many individuals do not take advantage of preventative screening services for chronic diseases, especially in rural areas. In this study, we investigated (1) the factors that affect people’s willingness to participate in chronic disease screenings and (2) reasons why people have not undergone screening for a chronic disease in the past. Methods: Study participants (aged 30–65 of years age; n = 204) included individuals from four areas in northern of Taiwan that are considered to have a high chronic disease risk. To identify factors that influence willingness to attend health screenings, data were collected by questionnaire. Results: Over 50% of participants (58.33%; n = 119) indicated that they were unaware of community-based screenings for chronic diseases offered by Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, which is one of the top-rated medical centers in Taiwan. Factors that increase willingness to participate in health screenings for chronic diseases include: (1) the convenience of screening site locations; (2) affordability; and (3) other considerations related to healthcare providers and diagnostic facilities (e.g., reputation, degree of modernization, etc.). Conversely, factors that reduce willingness to participate in health screenings include: (1) a belief that one was currently healthy; (2) lack of time; (3) a belief that screening procedures were too complicated to understand; (4) physical pain or negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, embarrassment, pain, and discomfort and, (5) having had a negative experience during a previous health checkup. Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate that health attitudes, sociodemographic factors, and other motivating and preventative factors affect peoples’ willingness to participate in health screenings. The motivating factors and barriers for people to participate in health screening for chronic diseases are very heterogeneous. However, understanding the barriers and motivating factors to health screening would mean that interventions with the purpose of decreasing people’s health risks and reducing deaths and disabilities caused by a chronic illness could be implemented.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number3495
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2 May 2020


  • Chronic diseases
  • Community-based health screening
  • Participation rate
  • Sociodemographic
  • Willingness to continue to participate


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