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Health Educ Q. 1992 Winter;19(4):447-62.

Mammography usage and the health belief model.

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Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles 90024-1563.


Regular screening mammograms for asymptomatic women are the most effective method for early detection of breast cancer. This study assessed the relative influence of Health Belief Model (HBM) constructs on prior mammography usage and the intention to obtain mammograms with data from a sample of 1,057 women over the age of 35 years residing in an urban community in the United States. Covariance structure analysis with latent variables was used initially to perform a confirmatory factor analysis of indicators of Socioeconomic Status (SES), Perceived Susceptibility, Perceived Barriers, Perceived Benefits, Cues to Action, Prior Mammography, and Future Intentions. Once a plausible factor structure was confirmed, a predictive path model was tested with Future Intentions and Prior Mammography as the outcome variables. Cues to Action, operationalized as a physician influence variable, particularly impacted Prior Mammography, and Perceived Susceptibility was the most powerful predictor of Future Intentions. SES only related significantly to Perceived Barriers, and Cues to Action, and did not directly influence Prior Mammography and Future Intentions. HBM predictor variables alone accounted for the relationship between previous mammography experience and intentions to obtain mammograms in the future. Health education implications and an applied outreach program are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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