Care-seeking behavior with breast cancer symptoms in caucasian and african-american women


  • Dr. Diane Lauver PhD, RN, CS

    Assistant Professor, Corresponding author
    1. School of Nursing, University of Wisconsin-Madison
    • School of Nursing, University of Wisconsin-Madison, CSC K6/262, 600 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53792-2455
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Based on a theory of care seeking, the influences of psychosocial variables (anxiety, utility beliefs, norm, and habit) and facilitators (e.g., an identified practitioner) on care-seeking behavior with a breast cancer symptom were examined. Also, the influences of variables not identified by the theory (e.g., optimism and race) on care-seeking behavior were examined. Participants were Caucasian (n = 64) and African-American women (n = 71) with breast symptoms. Care seeking was measured by the days between symptom detection and contact with the health system. Habit was associated with promptness, utility beliefs were associated with delay, and anxiety interacted with having an identified practitioner to explain care seeking. Optimism and having a friend with a breast symptom also were associated with promptness. Race had neither direct nor interactive effects on care seeking.