Psychological and behavioral impact of receipt of a "normal" ovarian cancer screening test

Joseph E. Gaugler, Edward Pavlik, John M. Salsman, Michael A. Andrykowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective.: While cancer screening can reduce morbidity and mortality, screening can also be associated with adverse physical, psychological, and behavioral outcomes, even when no malignancy is detected. Few studies, however, have comprehensively examined the potential positive impact of a normal cancer screening test result. This study examined the effects of receipt of a normal ovarian cancer screening test result on a range of psychosocial outcomes, including screening-related beliefs and intentions, risk knowledge, distress, and positive affect. Method.: The present study utilized baseline, 2-week, and 4-month data from a sample of 560 asymptomatic women who underwent a routine screening for ovarian cancer and received a normal result as well as 296 controls (Lexington, Kentucky, USA, 2000-2002). Results.: Growth curve modeling revealed that receipt of a "normal" test result following ovarian cancer screening was associated with increased beliefs in the efficacy of ovarian cancer screening, decreased ovarian cancer-related distress, increased knowledge of ovarian cancer risk factors, and increased positive affect over the 4-month study period. Conclusion.: Receipt of a normal ovarian cancer screening test result influences a range of affective and cognitive endpoints. For the most part, these endpoints are either empirically or theoretically linked to likelihood of participation in future cancer screening. Thus, participation in routine ovarian cancer screening with receipt of a normal screening test result may create a set of affective and cognitive conditions that facilitate repeat screening and contribute to the maintenance of appropriate ovarian cancer screening behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-470
Number of pages8
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Growth curve modeling
  • Psycho-oncology
  • Quality of life in cancer
  • Transvaginal sonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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