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Prev Med. 2006 Jun;42(6):401-8. Epub 2006 Apr 19.

Does worry about breast cancer predict screening behaviors? A meta-analysis of the prospective evidence.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10022, USA. hayj@mskcc.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Many women worry about the possibility of developing breast cancer, but there is conflicting evidence concerning whether cancer worry acts as a facilitator or inhibitor of breast cancer screening.

METHOD:

We conducted a meta-analysis of 12 prospective studies that measured worry about breast cancer at baseline and subsequent breast self-examination (BSE) or mammography utilization among 3342 high-risk and general population women.

RESULTS:

The data consistently show that breast cancer worry has a small but reliable (r = 0.12) association with breast cancer screening behavior, such that greater worry predicts a greater likelihood of screening. We also found that the means for breast cancer worry were consistently in the lower third of the scales, despite differences in measurement approaches, sample utilization, or the date that the study was conducted.

CONCLUSION:

The meta-analysis supports the contention that breast cancer worry may motivate screening behavior, and that high levels of breast cancer worry are uncommon.

PMID:
16626796
DOI:
10.1016/j.ypmed.2006.03.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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