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J Behav Med. 2006 Aug;29(4):327-34. Epub 2006 Jun 29.

Medical and psychosocial predictors of delay in seeking medical consultation for breast symptoms in women in a public sector setting.

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Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


We examined demographic, medical and psychosocial factors related to delay in seeking medical consultation for breast symptoms. In this cross-sectional survey, 124 women with breast symptoms attending an outpatient breast surgery clinic in a county general hospital completed questionnaires measuring demographic, medical and psychosocial variables. Our outcome variable was delay in seeking medical consultation. Younger age (p <or= 0.05), less education (p <or= 0.01), absence of a lump (p <or= 0.05), lower perceived risk (p <or= 0.001), less spirituality (p <or= 0.01), cost (p <or= 0.001) and not wanting to think about breast symptom(s) (p <or= 0.05) were related to delay. Multivariate analyses showed absence of a breast lump by education interaction (p <or= 0.05), risk perception (p <or= 0.001), spirituality (p <or= 0.01) and cost (p <or= 0.001) collectively accounted for 38.4% of the variance in delay. Health promotion programs targeting low-income populations should emphasize the importance of breast symptoms other than lumps, especially to younger and less educated women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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