246146 For women over 40, awareness of changes to breast cancer screening guidelines is associated with more negative feelings toward mammography

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Erin M. Walsh, MS , Department of Community Health and Health Behavior, School of Public Health and Health Professions, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
Marc T. Kiviniemi, PhD , Department of Community Health and Health Behavior, School of Public Health and Health Professions, University at Buffalo, SUNY, Buffalo, NY
Jennifer L. Hay, PhD , Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY
BACKGROUND: In 2009, the US Preventive Services Task Force updated its breast cancer screening recommendations; notably, the new recommendations no longer advise screening for women ages 40 to 49. Although the changes drew widespread media attention, little is known about how the changes affected women's thoughts and feelings concerning mammograms. METHOD: A national survey of women aged 40+ (N=509) was conducted in November-December, 2010 (one year after the release of the updated guidelines). Women reported whether they were aware of the changes, their perceived benefits and barriers concerning mammography, and the feelings they associated with mammography. RESULTS: 41.7% of women were aware of the changes to the screening guidelines. Awareness of the changes was not as associated with either perceived benefits or barriers (bs<.051, ns). Awareness was, however, associated with women's affective associations, the feelings and emotions associated with a behavioral choice. Controlling for age, income, and education level, awareness of the changes to screening guidelines was associated with lower levels of positive affective associations (b=-.235, p=.021), and higher levels of negative affective associations (b=.132, p=.007) about screening behavior. CONCLUSIONS: Awareness of the changes in screening guidelines was associated with more negative and less positive feelings associated with mammography. Given the relation of affective associations to engaging in behavior, a better understanding of how affective associations and other psychosocial factors are influenced by awareness of changes to screening guidelines will help inform communication strategies that encourage compliance with recommendations and optimal decision making about screening behaviors.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the relation of awareness of changes in guidelines to psychosocial factors related to screening. Explain the role of affective associations in behavioral decision making for screening and other health behaviors.

Keywords: Breast Cancer Screening, Decision-Making

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I conducted the data analyses relevant to this submission and conduct research examining the cognitive and affective components of health decision making across a range of health behaviors.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.