Screening for cervical cancer: a review of women's attitudes, knowledge, and behaviour.
The United Kingdom (UK) cervical screening programme has been successful in securing participation of a high proportion of targeted women, and has seen a fall in mortality rates of those suffering from cervical cancer. There remains, however, a significant proportion of unscreened women and, of women in whom an abnormality is detected, many will not attend for colposcopy. The present work reviews the psychological consequences of receiving an abnormal cervical smear result and of secondary screening and treatment, and examines reasons for women's non-participation in the screening programme. Psychological theories of screening behavior are used to elucidate women's reactions and to suggest methods of increasing participation, of improving the quality of the service, and of reducing women's anxiety. A literature search identified studies that examine factors influencing women's participation in the screening programme, their psychological reaction to the receipt of an abnormal cervical smear result, and experiences of colposcopy. Reasons for non-participation include administrative failures, unavailability of a female screener, inconvenient clinic times, lack of awareness of the test's indications and benefits, considering oneself not to be at risk of developing cervical cancer, and fear of embarrassment, pain, or the detection of cancer. The receipt of an abnormal result and referral for colposcopy cause high levels of distress owing to limited understanding of the meaning of the smear test; many women believe the test aims to detect existing cervical cancer. The quality of the cervical screening service can be enhanced by the provision of additional information, by improved quality of communication, and by consideration of women's health beliefs. This may result in increased participation in, and satisfaction with, the service. (+info)
Illness behaviour in elite middle and long distance runners.
OBJECTIVES: To examine the illness attitudes and beliefs known to be associated with abnormal illness behaviour (where symptoms are present in excess of objective signs and pathology) in elite middle and long distance runners, in comparison with non-athlete controls. METHODS: A total of 150 athletes were surveyed using the illness behaviour questionnaire as an instrument to explore the psychological attributes associated with abnormal illness behaviour. Subjects also completed the general health questionnaire as a measure of psychiatric morbidity. A control group of 150 subjects, matched for age, sex, and social class, were surveyed using the same instruments. RESULTS: A multivariate analysis of illness behaviour questionnaire responses showed that the athletes' group differed significantly from the control group (Hotelling's T: Exact F = 2.68; p = 0.01). In particular, athletes were more somatically focused (difference between means -0.27; 95% confidence interval -0.50 to -0.03) and more likely to deny the impact of stresses in their life (difference between means 0.78; 95% confidence interval 0.31 to 1.25). Athletes were also higher scorers on the Whiteley Index of Hypochondriasis (difference between means 0.76; 95% confidence interval 0.04 to 1.48). There were no differences in the levels of psychiatric morbidity between the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: The illness attitudes and beliefs of athletes differ from those of a well matched control population. The origin of these psychological attributes is not clear but those who treat athletes need to be aware of them. (+info)
Provider attitudes toward dispensing emergency contraception in Michigan's Title X programs.(3/12010)
he pill in Japan: will approval ever come?
Placebo medication use in patient care: a survey of medical interns.
The use of placebo medication, long recognized by clinicians, often has serious practical implications, such as patient deception. Past evidence has suggested that resident physicians tend to misuse placebo medication. Interns from two consecutive years of a residency program were surveyed anonymously to assess their knowledge and use of placebos. Of the 74 interns surveyed, 44 (59%) were familiar with placebo use in patient care. Fifty percent of these interns familiar with placebo use had learned about placebos from another physician. All interns who had learned about placebos during their internships had learned from another physician, whereas interns who had gained their knowledge of placebos as medical students were as likely to have learned from the medical literature as they were to have learned from a physician (P = 0.027). Interns aware of placebo use were more likely to consider placebo administration for suspected, factitious pain (P = 0.022). The present study uncovered no relationship between interns' estimations of placebo efficacy and the utility they attributed to placebos in assessing a complaint of pain. This suggests that conceptual inconsistencies underlie their use of placebos. Interns often learn of placebos as medical students and are influenced by physician-mentors. Placebo use in patient care is an area of attention for medical educators. (+info)
Relationships between various attitudes towards self-determination in health care with special reference to an advance directive.
OBJECTIVES: The subject of patient self-determination in health care has gained broad interest because of the increasing number of incompetent patients. In an attempt to solve the problems related to doctors' decision making in such circumstances, advance directives have been developed. The purpose of this study was to examine relationships between public attitudes towards patient autonomy and advance directives. SUBJECTS AND MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: A stratified random sample of 600 adults in northern Sweden was surveyed by a questionnaire with a response rate of 78.2%. The subjects were asked about their wish for control of their health care, their concerns about health care, their treatment preferences in a life-threatening situation (both reversible and irreversible), and their attitudes towards the application of advance directives. RESULTS: Numerous relationships between various aspects of self-determination in health care (desire for control, fears of over-treatment, and choice of treatment level) in general and advance directives, in particular, were found. Those who wanted to have a say in their health care (about 94%) also mainly supported the use of an advance directive. CONCLUSIONS: The fact that almost 30% of the respondents were undecided concerning their personal use of advance directives points to a lack of knowledge and to the necessity of education of the public on these issues. (+info)
How physician executives and clinicians perceive ethical issues in Saudi Arabian hospitals.
OBJECTIVES: To compare the perceptions of physician executives and clinicians regarding ethical issues in Saudi Arabian hospitals and the attributes that might lead to the existence of these ethical issues. DESIGN: Self-completion questionnaire administered from February to July 1997. SETTING: Different health regions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. PARTICIPANTS: Random sample of 457 physicians (317 clinicians and 140 physician executives) from several hospitals in various regions across the kingdom. RESULTS: There were statistically significant differences in the perceptions of physician executives and clinicians regarding the existence of various ethical issues in their hospitals. The vast majority of physician executives did not perceive that seven of the eight issues addressed by the study were ethical concerns in their hospitals. However, the majority of the clinicians perceived that six of the same eight issues were ethical considerations in their hospitals. Statistically significant differences in the perceptions of physician executives and clinicians were observed in only three out of eight attributes that might possibly lead to the existence of ethical issues. The most significant attribute that was perceived to result in ethical issues was that of hospitals having a multinational staff. CONCLUSION: The study calls for the formulation of a code of ethics that will address specifically the physicians who work in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As a more immediate initiative, it is recommended that seminars and workshops be conducted to provide physicians with an opportunity to discuss the ethical dilemmas they face in their medical practice. (+info)
Attitudes, knowledge, and risk perceptions of women with breast and/or ovarian cancer considering testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2.
PURPOSE: This study examined baseline knowledge, beliefs, and risk perceptions among a group of 200 women with breast and/or ovarian cancer who participated in a trial designed to improve decision making about genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Women were identified by self-referral, physician referral, and tumor registry extraction and invited to participate in a randomized trial in which testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 was offered free of charge. Subjects completed baseline questionnaires and interviews that assessed knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of risk of having an alteration in BRCA1 or BRCA2. RESULTS: Sixty percent of women overestimated their chances of having a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation compared with estimates from a BRCA1/BRCA2 risk model. Women who have at least three relatives with breast or ovarian cancer were one third (95% confidence interval, 0.2 to 0.6) as likely to overestimate their risk of having a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation compared with women who have two or fewer affected relatives. Knowledge was limited about BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations and cancer risk associated with gene mutations. Eighty-four percent of the women indicated a probable or definite interest in testing. CONCLUSION: A high proportion of the high-risk women in this study had knowledge deficits about BRCA1 and BRCA2 and overestimated their risk of having a mutation. Although some degree of caution should be used in generalizing the results of this study to practice settings, the data provide insight into the challenges clinicians will face in communicating with patients about cancer genetics. (+info)