Psychological and screening profiles of first-degree relatives of prostate cancer patients

J Behav Med. 2001 Jun;24(3):247-58. doi: 10.1023/a:1010766706914.


The purpose of the present study was to systematically compare the psychological and screening profiles of first-degree relatives (FDRs) of prostate cancer patients versus non-FDRs. FDRs (n = 56) and non-FDRs (n = 100), recruited through prostate cancer index cases and newspaper advertisements, completed questionnaires via mail. FDRs reported feeling at greater risk for prostate cancer, estimated that they were at higher average lifetime risk for the disease, agreed more strongly that prostate cancer is inherited, and that less can be done to prevent the development of the disease. Increased age, but not FDR status, was associated with more frequent screening behavior. Taken together, the results indicate that FDRs are characterized by greater perceived vulnerability to prostate cancer and lower expectations about disease prevention. Yet, they are no more likely to be screened than non-FDRs. These findings underscore the importance of developing, and evaluating, evidence-based health communication protocols to promote screening adherence among at-risk patients.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / etiology*
  • Family / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Risk Factors