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Illness representations and distress in women undergoing screening for familial ovarian cancer

Lancastle, D., Brain, Katherine and Phelps, C. 2011. Illness representations and distress in women undergoing screening for familial ovarian cancer. Psychology and Health 26 (12) , pp. 1659-1677. 10.1080/08870446.2011.555544

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Women with a familial or genetic predisposition to ovarian cancer are at significantly increased risk of developing the disease, and this warrants effective risk management strategies. A clinical trial of ovarian cancer screening (OCS) is being conducted to establish the effectiveness of this risk management strategy. This article reports data from its psychological partner study which aims to evaluate the psychological effects of OCS. Leventhal's Self-Regulatory Model provided the theoretical framework for understanding emotional responses to OCS. The revised Illness Perceptions Questionnaire (IPQ-R) is based on this model and the IPQ-R, adapted to the risk of ovarian cancer, was completed by women (N = 1999) prior to screening. The original IPQ-R factor structure was not replicated but IPQ-R variables explained 14.70% of the variance in women's ovarian cancer-specific distress after controlling for age, general anxiety and depression. Negative emotional representations of ovarian cancer risk and general anxiety were moderately associated with greater ovarian cancer-specific distress whereas cognitive illness representations were weakly related to ovarian cancer-specific distress. Further analyses of data from the ongoing psychological evaluation are needed to determine the predictive utility of IPQ-R variables in explaining distress during OCS.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: ovarian cancer screening, Illness Perceptions Questionnaire (revised), distress, psychological, health threat, ovarian cancer risk
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0887-0446
Date of Acceptance: 13 January 2011
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 09:17

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