Message framing, dispositional optimism, and follow-up for abnormal papanicolaou tests


  • Dr. Diane Lauver,

    Corresponding author
    • University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Nursing, 600 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53792
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    • Diane Lauver, PhD, RNC, is an assistant professor in the School of Nursing, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Mary Rubin, MSN, RNC, is a doctoral candidate in the School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, and a gynecology oncology clinical nurse specialist at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Mary Rubin


The effects of alternatively framed messages and dispositional optimism on follow-up for abnormal Papanicolaou tests were studied. Participants (N=116) had a mean age of 24; 94% were black, 67% had a high school education, and 82% received public assistance. A message about losses without follow-up or gains with follow-up was randomly given. Optimism was measured with the Life Orientation Test and attendance was defined as coming or not coming within 6 weeks of contact. Logistic regressions of attendance on framing and optimism did not reveal significant relationships. Exploratory analyses revealed that personal and familial history of disease were related to attendance. Explanations for the findings and implications for research are delineated.