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Health Psychol. 2004 Nov;23(6):582-94.

Relationship of social support and social burden to repeated breast cancer screening in the women's health initiative.

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Stony Brook University, Department of Preventive Medicine, Stony Brook, NY 11794-8036, USA.


Direct and interactive effects of social support, social burden (caregiving, negative life events, and social strain), education, and income on repeated use of breast cancer screening among a large (N=55,278), national sample of postmenopausal women participating in the Women's Health Initiative observational study were examined. Repeated screening decreased as emotional/informational support and positive social interactions decreased (ps<.01). Repeated mammography decreased with frequent caregiving (p<.01). Less social strain reduced the frequency of repeated breast self-examinations (BSEs; ps<.01), but frequent caregiving and more negative life events increased repeated use of BSE (ps<.01). Interactive effects suggested that emotional/informational but not tangible support is associated with repeated mammography and clinical breast examinations (ps<.01) and may be particularly important among low-income older women, especially those burdened by caregiving.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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