Navigation Links
Self-affirmation may break down resistance to medical screening
Date:12/21/2011

People resist medical screening, or don't call back for the results, because they don't want to know they're sick or at risk for a disease. But many illnesses, such as HIV/AIDS and cancer, have a far a better prognosis if they're caught early. How can health care providers break down that resistance?

Have people think about what they value most, finds a new study by University of Florida psychologists Jennifer L. Howell and James A. Shepperd. "If you can get people to refocus their attention from a threat to their overall sense of wellbeing, they are less likely to avoid threatening information," says Howell. Do that, and people are more likely to face a medical screening even if it means undertaking onerous treatment and even if the disease is uncontrollable. The findings will appear in Psychological Science, a journal published by the Association for Psychological Science.

The researchers undertook three studies, each with about 100 students of both sexes. In all three studies, they asked the participants to think of a trait they valued; they chose traits such as honesty, compassion, and friendliness. Participants then wrote either about how they demonstrated the trait (expressing self-affirmation) or a friend (not affirming themselves) demonstrated the trait.

Next participants watched a video about a (fictional) disorder called thioamine acetlyase (TAA) deficiency that ostensibly impairs the body's ability to process nutrients and can lead to severe medical complications. They then completed an online risk calculator for the disease and decided either to receive their risk feedback or not.

In the first study, fewer participants who wrote self-affirming essays avoided learning their risk than did participants who wrote non-affirming essays. In studies 2 and 3 researchers investigated the effects of affirmation on two conditions known to increase avoidance of risk feedback. In the second study, participants learned that testing at high risk for TAA deficiency would either require an easy or onerous follow-up examination process. Participants who were not affirmed avoided learning their risk more when they thought it might necessitate an onerous, as compared to an easy, follow up. However, affirmed participants showed little avoidance regardless of the difficulty of follow up. In the third study, participants learned either that TAA could be managed with a pill; or that there was no effective treatment. Again, the non-affirmed group avoided learning their risk almost twice as often when hearing they had no control over the illness. By contrast, affirmed participants were unlikely to avoid the news, regardless of the possibility of treatment.

The researchers acknowledge it's sometimes rational to choose not to know about an incurable disease you might (or might not) get. "But when it is important to prepare for negative eventsgetting your affairs in order, finding the coping resources you'll need," Howell suggests, going through with that screening might wise.


'/>"/>

Contact: Anna Mikulak
amikulak@psychologicalscience.org
202-293-9300
Association for Psychological Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Breakthrough in treatment to prevent blindness
2. Ready-to-bake cookie dough not ready-to-eat, study of E. coli outbreak finds
3. 2011 ASH Annual Meeting to highlight latest hematology research, clinical care breakthroughs
4. Study finds inadequate mask use among health care workers early in 2009 H1N1 outbreak
5. Cleveland researchers find possible breakthrough to relieve pain following spinal cord injury
6. Princeton technique puts chemistry breakthroughs on the fast track
7. 2 breakthrough innovations to address maternal and newborn deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa
8. Indevr launches breakthrough colorimetric detection for microarrays using core technology from CU
9. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev researchers achieve male fertility breakthrough
10. Breakthrough in understanding the genetics of high blood pressure
11. Northern Ireland company makes major breakthrough in cancer treatment
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/24/2017)... ... January 24, 2017 , ... Element ... products, today announced a strategic partnership with Lucidworks , the company transforming ... analyze their Fusion platform for building powerful enterprise search applications. , Element Blue ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... ... January 24, 2017 , ... Manzo Pharmaceuticals, LLC., announced ... Registered Trademark by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The purpose ... confuse consumers into thinking that other products are similar to the patented Lacto-Freedom ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... ... January 24, 2017 , ... ... the semi-final round of the 2017 Cupid's Cup Entrepreneurship Competition. Chaired by Under ... year in 2017. The entrepreneurs will showcase their businesses on February 6, 2017, ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... LONG GROVE, ILL. (PRWEB) , ... January 24, ... ... natural odor abatement solutions, announced that it has officially formed a distribution partnership ... of equipment for the industrial odor management industry. , Through the agreement, OMI ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... , ... January 24, 2017 , ... Center for ... century leadership, has named Hector M. Chavez, Manager, Employee & Labor Relations at ... - as its Hispanic Leader of the Month. City of Hope is committed to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/24/2017)... LYNBROOK, N.Y. , Jan. 24, 2017 ... BSTC ), a biopharmaceutical company that originated ... a first in class collagenase-based product collagenase ... ┬«  in the U.S. and Xiapex ┬« ... will present a corporate overview at the ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... JOLLA, Calif. , Jan. 24, 2017 ... new case studies using its Biomedical Intelligence® Cloud - ... knowledge from a multitude of genomic, molecular and clinical ... updates were presented at a session hosted by Data4Cure ... Mountain View, CA. The ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... Jan. 24, 2017 Trifecta Clinical , ... is appointing Rick Ward to Vice President ... Trifecta is also announcing the promotion of Ericka ... Rick joins Trifecta from Greenphire where ... held senior business development positions within the healthcare industry ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: