Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Psychooncology. 2012 Dec;21(12):1316-23. doi: 10.1002/pon.2038. Epub 2011 Aug 26.

Waiting to see the doctor: understanding appraisal and utilization components of consultation delay for new breast symptoms in Chinese women.

Author information

1
Centre for Psycho-oncological Research and Training, School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Delayed consultation for potential cancer symptoms influences treatment outcomes and remains problematic. Delay components (Appraisal versus Utilization) and respective associations are poorly understood.

METHODS:

Eligible participants were Cantonese-speaking Chinese women, ≥21 years old, with self-discovered breast symptoms, recruited in surgical clinics before their first consultation, and naïve to their diagnosis. Overall 425/433 (98%) women completed a questionnaire on psychosocial, demographic and medical factors, how and when women discovered their breast symptom(s), and their subsequent decision making; 135/425 women (32%) were later diagnosed with breast cancer.

RESULTS:

Twenty-two per cent of women delayed >3 months before consultation. Women with breast cancer (28%) more often had prolonged delay than women with benign disease (19%). Attributing symptom to a non-cancerous condition, low fear on symptom discovery, not disclosing symptoms to others, and no prior breast symptom history predicted prolonged (>60 days) Appraisal Delay. Low fear on symptom discovery, seldom thinking about the symptom, and consultation for other reasons predicted prolonged (>14 days) Utilization Delay. Factors predicting Appraisal and Utilization Delays differentiated cancer from non-cancer groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

Indecision over symptom meaning comprised the main component of Appraisal and Total Delay, suggesting that educational strategies targeting atypical symptoms should reduce avoidable delays following self-discovered breast symptoms.

PMID:
23208839
DOI:
10.1002/pon.2038
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center