Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of women's attitudes and health beliefs regarding breast and colorectal cancer screening practices.
Methods: Nine hundred five women, 50 to 80 years of age, were recruited from 63 randomly selected physician offices within the greater Los Angeles area. The Health Belief Model was used to evaluate potential predictor variables associated with patients' breast and colorectal cancer screening practices.
Results: The study results revealed that mammographic screening compliance was relatively high (70%), whereas only 29% of the patients were compliant with fecal occult blood test (FOBT) screening guidelines. Women were far more likely to obtain regular mammography screening than an FOBT. Psychological distress had one of the strongest, negative associations with breast cancer and colorectal cancer screening, and was also a prevalent predictor for many of the variables examined.
Conclusion: Psychological distress seems to negatively impact a patient's decision to adhere to breast cancer and colorectal cancer screening recommendations, although participants were far more likely to obtain regular mammography screening than an FOBT.
2010 Jacobs Institute of Women