All cancer screening tests produce a proportion of abnormal results requiring follow up. Consequently, the cancer-screening setting is a natural laboratory for examining psychological and behavioural response to a threatening health-related event. This study tested hypotheses derived from the social cognitive processing and cognitive-social health information processing models in trying to understand response to an abnormal ovarian cancer (OC) screening test result. Women (n=278) receiving an abnormal screening test result a mean of 7 weeks earlier were assessed prior to a repeat screening test intended to clarify their previous abnormal result. Measures of disposition (optimism, informational coping style), social environment (social support and constraint), emotional processing, distress, and benefit finding were obtained. Regression analyses indicated greater distress was associated with greater social constraint and emotional processing and a monitoring coping style in women with a family history of OC. Distress was unrelated to social support. Greater benefit finding was associated with both greater social constraint and support and greater distress. The primacy of social constraint in accounting for both benefit finding and distress was noteworthy and warrants further research on the role of social constraint in adaptation to stressful events.
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Psychology and Health|
|State||Published - Apr 2011|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by grant CA84036 from the National Cancer Institute. We would like to thank Joyce McCown for her tireless efforts, the staff of the University of Kentucky Ovarian Cancer Screening Program, and all of the women who participated in this study.
- Cancer screening
- Health behaviour theory
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health