Perception of Risk and Surveillance Practices of Women With a Family History of Breast Cancer

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A retrospective study was designed to examine the relationship between perception of risk and surveillance activities (mammography and clinical breast examination) in women with a family history of breast cancer. The Revised Susceptibility, Benefits, and Barriers Scale for Mammography Screening, the Centre for Epidemiology Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D), and a demographic form were administered to a convenience sample of 56 women. There were no significant relationships between perceived risk and screening activities. No significant correlations were found between age or depressive symptoms with either perceived risk or screening behaviors. Women with postsecondary qualifications were more likely to obtain regular mammograms. A substantial portion (34.5%) of participants reported depressive symptoms at a level associated with clinically significant levels of depression (≥16 on the CES-D). Women over age 50 reported significantly more depressive symptoms than younger women. Perceived risk was not associated with screening; however, depression should be considered closely when dealing with women with higher-than-average risk of breast cancer.

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