The effect of nondirective questioning on women's decisions whether to undergo bone density screening: an experimental study

Health Psychol. 2000 Mar;19(2):181-91. doi: 10.1037//0278-6133.19.2.181.


This study investigated the effects of nondirective counseling on health screening decisions. Ninety women (mean age = 51 years) received information about bone density screening and osteoporosis. They were then randomly allocated to 1 of 4 groups and were encouraged to focus on positive issues about bone density screening (positive group), on negative issues (negative group), on both positive and negative issues (all-focusing group), or on issues relating to the common cold (control group). Women were asked to rate how likely they would be to opt for bone density screening if they saw it available. After being informed that they could have bone density screening, actual uptake was assessed. It was found that the issues on which individuals focused significantly influenced their rate likelihood of opting for the scan. Rated likelihood of testing was significantly associated with whether individuals actually did opt for testing when it was subsequently offered to them.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bone Density / physiology*
  • Counseling
  • Decision Making*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis / diagnosis*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires