Coping disposition, perceived risk, and psychological distress among women at increased risk for ovarian cancer

Health Psychol. 1995 May;14(3):232-5. doi: 10.1037//0278-6133.14.3.232.


The authors examined predictors of psychological distress among women who were at increased risk for ovarian cancer. Participants were 103 women who had at least 1 first degree relative with ovarian cancer. Specifically, the authors tested the relationship between the dispositional attentional style of monitoring (the tendency to scan for threat-relevant information), perceptions of risk for ovarian cancer, intrusive thoughts regarding ovarian cancer, and psychological distress. Overall, this sample exhibited moderately high levels of psychological distress. High scores on monitoring were associated with high perceived risk for ovarian cancer and elevated levels of intrusive thoughts and psychological distress. Finally, the authors proposed and tested a path model describing the interrelationships between these variables. The results of this study are discussed in terms of their implications for treating the psychological distress associated with being at increased risk for ovarian cancer.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Personality Inventory
  • Risk Factors
  • Sick Role*