And here's more - on the CR-UK poll on fear and cancer mentioned in the similarly title post just below, numbered 1.
This time CR-UK's Poll missed out the options for us British to be frightened of terrorism, car accidents, murder and plane crashes - alternatives used previously in these ‘Top of the Shocks’ polls. Instead, they stuck a possibly random selection of cancers into the mix - breast, bowel, lung, prostate, malignant melanoma, cervical, ovarian, pancreatic, oesophageal, leukaemia, brain, and testicular.
An earlier screening question on the current Poll did allow for fear of HIV, diabetes, malaria, MS and MND. An option to fear mental ill health of any kind was left out. Too awful to contemplate or to minor to fear? We’ll never know. Mind you, if it was in the mix I still think we wouldn’t know anything worth knowing from the Poll results, so I shouldn’t carp.
And then they asked people which cancers they thought had the best survival rates – I’m not sure myself if that’s a question about mortality (proportions, or numbers of people) or survival (length of time) so I’m not sure the poor old general public could get the answer right, for the right reasons. About 1 in 5 were correct as far as I can see but a third were confident that ‘I don’t know’ covered their thoughts about the best survival rate. No idea how much effect guessing ‘cancer with best survival rate’ would have had. On the other hand I think respondents’d be pretty sure of their ‘don’t know’ status.
I remind any readers from the cancer voluntary sector that CR-UK is the lead partner in NAEDI - the National Awareness and Early Detection Initiative – so CR-UK interest in fear of cancer is legitimate for investigating how cancer(s) are presented to the public; how those messages are then perceived and understood and then how any of that translates promptly into the correct actions - or doesn’t, in spite of any knowledge. Those are all appropriate areas for NAEDI-type enquiry, to extend the evidence base, but what do they shove a couple of (donated) grand at?
An utterly un-interpretable omnibus poll of ‘fear’.
They don’t link the Poll to NAEDI which is good. I moaned about that last time. But I do, inasmuch as CR-UK and NAEDI are related and their activities should be complementary.
An omnibus poll is, I suspect indistinguishable in the general public's mind from 'proper' research survey methodology that bolster an evidence base, provide evidence for action, or evaluate action already taken. CR-UK is an organisation wedded to scientific method and rigour and upholding stringent standards in them so why decide not to bother with the same standard of ‘finding out’ in this area of psychosocial investigation? As a body with a half billion quid income they could have a stab at top quality investigation and avoid doing something public facing that might look like real research, but is really a bit of piffle aimed at meeting fundraising, profile and PR objectives.
I've checked the YouGov website for their Omnibus charges. I can’t get their rate card to load as my Internet Explorer chokes repeatedly on it, so there’s no detail, but to get questions on their 48hr Omnibus poll, there’s a £200 entry fee + £300 per question. There were 4 questions. As there were several options given for each question there must have been a premium for that complexity – which is where I arrive at my estimate of c. £2K. I think VAT would come in somewhere too.....
See the full results here
, incidentally, from the YouGov website – they aren’t attached to the CR-UK press release. It’s an interesting read.
Mind you, if the public didn’t fear cancer they wouldn’t donate to cancer research. So just what are these repeated polls of fear actually about?