Specific worry about breast cancer predicts mammography use in women at risk for breast and ovarian cancer

Michael A. Diefenbach, Suzanne M. Miller, Mary B. Daly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

171 Scopus citations

Abstract

This longitudinal study examined predictors of mammography use among women with a family history of breast cancer participating in a risk assessment and surveillance program (N = 213). Assessed were background variables (age, prior mammography utilization), cognitive variables (perceived vulnerability), and affective variables (cancer worry and general distress). Results of logistic regression analyses predicting adherence 1 year after baseline contact, in which variables of prior utilization, feelings of vulnerability, and general distress were controlled for, indicated that cancer worry and age were significant predictors of mammography adherence. Results suggest that moderate levels of cancer worry facilitate, rather than undermine, adherence. The results have implications for the construction of educational messages that should be designed to acknowledge feelings of cancer-specific worry and to provide guidance in health protective behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-536
Number of pages5
JournalHealth Psychology
Volume18
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1999
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer worry
  • Mammography adherence
  • Ovarian cancer

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