Received from the Department of Medicine (SLD, MMS, ABN) and the Division of Biostatistics (TLM), Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wis. This work was presented at the National Society of General Internal Medicine meeting in May 2001.
Predictors of Pessimistic Breast Cancer Risk Perceptions in a Primary Care Population
Article first published online: 2 APR 2004
Journal of General Internal Medicine
Volume 19, Issue 4, pages 310–315, April 2004
How to Cite
Davids, S. L., Schapira, M. M., McAuliffe, T. L. and Nattinger, A. B. (2004), Predictors of Pessimistic Breast Cancer Risk Perceptions in a Primary Care Population. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 19: 310–315. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1497.2004.20801.x
- Issue published online: 2 APR 2004
- Article first published online: 2 APR 2004
- breast neoplasm;
- risk perception;
OBJECTIVE: To identify sociodemographic characteristics, numeracy level, and breast cancer risk factors that are independently associated with the accuracy of lifetime and 5-year breast cancer risk perceptions.
DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. A probability scale was used to measure lifetime and 5-year risk perceptions. The absolute difference between perceived risk and the Gail model risk of breast cancer was calculated. Linear regression models were built to predict lifetime and 5-year breast cancer risk estimation error.
SETTING: Primary care internal medicine practices (N = 2).
PARTICIPANTS: Two hundred fifty-four women 40 to 85 years of age.
RESULTS: The mean lifetime and 5-year calculated breast cancer risk was 8.4% (SD [standard deviation] 6.1) and 1.5% (SD 1.3), respectively. Subjects had a mean estimation error for lifetime and 5-year risk of 29.5% (SD 22.9) and 24.8% (SD 23.9), respectively. In multivariate analyses, lower numeracy scores (0.005), higher number of previous breast biopsies (0.016), and a higher number of first-degree relatives (0.054) were predictive of larger estimation error for lifetime breast cancer risk. White race (0.014), lower educational levels (0.009), higher number of previous breast biopsies (0.008), and higher number of first-degree relatives (0.014) were predictive of larger estimation error for 5-year risk.
CONCLUSION: Among a primary care population, breast cancer risk factors may be more consistently associated with pessimistic perceptions of breast cancer risk than other factors studied during a lifetime and 5-year time span. Primary care physicians should consider counseling patients about individual breast cancer risk factors and risk over time.