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What are the factors associated with delayed help-seeking with breast cancer symptoms among older women?

Burgess, CC; Ramirez, AJ; Potts, HWW; Richards, MA; Bish, AM; Hunter, MS; (2005) What are the factors associated with delayed help-seeking with breast cancer symptoms among older women? In: Proceedings of the British Psychological Society. (pp. 76 - 76).

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Abstract

Background: Women who delay presenting with breast cancer symptoms by ≥three months have significantly poorer survival. A study of women of all ages identified risk factors for delayed presentation: non-lump symptoms, not disclosing symptom discovery to someone close, being prompted by someone else to seek help and presenting indirectly with a non-breast symptom (Burgess et al., BJC,1998). Older women, who have a higher risk of developing breast cancer, are also more likely to delay help-seeking than younger women. The aim of the current study was to replicate the findings for women of all ages in older women and to understand them within a theoretical framework. Methods: Risk factors for delay ≥three months were assessed for 69 women ≥65 years with breast cancer using a semi-structured interview developed for the earlier study. Additional items were assessed: breast cancer risk perception and attitudes towards help-seeking. Findings: 42 per cent of participants delayed ≥three months The logistic regression model from the 1998 study was applied to the new data. It and showed good predictive value (area under ROC curve=0.9). Delay was also associated with having reservations about attending the GP (p=0.02) and fear of the consequences of help-seeking (p=0.04). Discussion: Delay can be understood within a theoretical framework using elements of selfregulation theory, theory of planned behaviour and implementation intentions. This should inform the development of theoretically-based interventions to reduce delayed presentation in older women.

Type:Proceedings paper
Title:What are the factors associated with delayed help-seeking with breast cancer symptoms among older women?
Event:British Psychological Society Division of Health Psychology Annual Conference
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care > CHIME

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