Distress, personality, and mammography utilization among women with a family history of breast cancer

Health Psychol. 1999 Jul;18(4):327-32. doi: 10.1037//0278-6133.18.4.327.


The authors examined the impact of psychological distress and the personality construct of conscientiousness (as measured by the Neuroticism, Extraversion, and Openness-Five Factor Inventory) on mammography utilization among women who were at increased risk for breast cancer. Participants were 200 women who had at least 1 first degree relative with breast cancer. Overall, 80% of the participants had obtained a mammogram in the previous year. Analyses controlling for potential confounders (perceived risk, decisional balance, and physician recommendation for mammography), revealed that distress was negatively associated with mammography utilization among participants who were low in conscientiousness. Distress was not significantly related to mammography utilization among highly conscientious women. The results are discussed in terms of their implications regarding interventions designed to increase mammography utilization in this population.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / psychology
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Logistic Models
  • Mammography / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology*