Research Repository

Illness representations and coping following an abnormal colorectal cancer screening result

Orbell, Sheina and O'Sullivan, Ian and Parker, Ron and Steele, Bob and Campbell, Christine and Weller, David (2008) 'Illness representations and coping following an abnormal colorectal cancer screening result.' Social Science & Medicine, 67 (9). pp. 1465-1474. ISSN 0277-9536

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Receipt of an abnormal screening test result is likely to activate an illness representation that guides emotional, cognitive and behavioural responses. The study investigates relationships between illness representations specified by self-regulation theory, and coping responses in people receiving abnormal faecal occult blood test (FOBT) screening results during the UK colorectal cancer screening pilot. After completion of all clinical investigations and treatment, men and women diagnosed with invasive cancer (N = 196), adenoma (N = 208), or no neoplasia (N = 293) completed measures of illness representations, coping and state anxiety. Gender, socioeconomic status and diagnosis explained significant variance in different coping strategies while illness representations contributed between 5% and 21% additional explained variance. While identity, causal attributions and emotional representations explained variance in the use of avoidance and distancing, perceived personal control was important in explaining efforts to make health behavioural changes following an abnormal result. Relatively more use of escape-avoidance coping following a first abnormal screen was significantly associated with non-participation in screening 2 years later. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Illness representations; Self-regulation theory; Coping; Anxiety; Screening; Colorectal cancer; Faecal occult blood test (FOBT)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 10:28
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 11:03

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