Induced versus spontaneous attendance of breast-screening tests by women

J Cancer Educ. 1991;6(1):43-53. doi: 10.1080/08858199109528086.


Despite the availability of services and information, not enough women undergo breast-screening tests. A previous study showed that clinic attenders differ from nonattenders in emotions, personality, self-concept, neuroticism, psychosomatics, and health attitudes. Some of these resembled the cancer-prone personality. The present study was designed to test whether nonattenders have higher repression that supports denial and could be persuaded by positive inducements to undergo the tests. Other goals were to examine if the new sample replicates the former findings and if it differs from clinic attenders. The subjects were 210 spontaneous clinic attenders and 210 matched controls from the previous study and 46 positively induced women. They were administered questionnaires assessing emotions, personality, daydreaming, self-concept, neuroticism, somatic complaints, alexithymia, and health attitudes. The findings were that the induced sample scored higher on repressiveness, had more cancer-affected blood relatives, and responded favorably to the positive inducements. They differed from the controls in most of the variables the clinic attenders did but differed from the clinic attenders in 30% of the variables, manifesting more extreme correspondence to the cancer-prone personality. The findings indicate possibilities of drawing more individuals to undergo the tests by emphasizing the positive anxiety-reducing approach.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anxiety
  • Attitude to Health
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology
  • Defense Mechanisms
  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Self Concept