Breast cancer worry and screening: some prospective data

Health Psychol. 1996 Nov;15(6):430-3. doi: 10.1037//0278-6133.15.6.430.


Breast cancer concerns were measured among 353 women, ages 40-75, from North Dakota. One year later, participants were recontacted and asked about their screening behavior during the previous year. Greater concern about breast cancer, even the highest level of concern, was related to a higher likelihood that women performed breast self-examination, had a mammography screening, and had a clinical breast examination. These data do not support the idea that worry inhibits action; instead, they suggest that nonpathological worry motivates self-protective behavior.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Breast Self-Examination / psychology
  • Fear*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Mammography / psychology
  • Mass Screening / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies