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Cognition and affect after cervical screening: The role of previous test outcome and personal obligation in future uptake expectations


  • Orbell, Sheina


276 women aged 20 to 60 years who had recently undergone the cervical smear test for detection of cervical abnormalities were interviewed concerning their experiences at screening, the screening test and their future screening expectations. The vast majority of women indicated that it was very likely they would undergo future tests, in spite of recently publicised concerns about negative impacts of positive results. The analysis further demonstrated that future screening expectations were best explained not by appraisals of disease threat, but by a sense of obligation to attend and by perceptions of the aversiveness of the test procedure. Women who reported that their last test had been painful or embarrassing held more negative views of a future test, but a prior positive result was not implicated in women's expectations concerning future screening. Social class was associated with future uptake expectations, even amongst this sample of women who had already undergone the test. Multivariate analysis showed that the effects of social class on expectations concerning future participation in screening was explained by the tendency of lower class women to view the test as aversive and to feel less personal obligation to attend.

Suggested Citation

  • Orbell, Sheina, 1996. "Cognition and affect after cervical screening: The role of previous test outcome and personal obligation in future uptake expectations," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 43(8), pages 1237-1243, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:43:y:1996:i:8:p:1237-1243

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Michael Grossman, 1972. "The Demand for Health: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gros72-1, January.
    4. Tietenberg, T H, 1990. "Economic Instruments for Environmental Regulation," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 17-33, Spring.
    5. Halkos, George E., 1993. "Sulphur abatement policy: Implications of cost differentials," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(10), pages 1035-1043, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Whynes, David K. & Philips, Zoe & Avis, Mark, 2007. "Why do women participate in the English cervical cancer screening programme?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 306-325, March.


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