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:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... The annual time frame to change ... Election Period), is ending December 7th. Currently-enrolled Medicare beneficiaries who are looking to switch ... plan (Part D) need to make changes during this period order for their new ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... More ... school and while 84 percent of parents report speaking with their child about sex ... and sexually transmitted diseases. , Mediaplanet is proud to announce the launch of its ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... Sourced from the Isbre Springs beneath the ... its unmatched natural purity of just 6 ppm TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) in addition ... has been available in several ShopRite and FoodTown stores in NJ and received rave ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... On November 24th, ... families from eight different sites throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties. This is the ... very hard on Thanksgiving morning by putting together individual meals via assembly lines ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... Northridge dentists, Dr. ... plan for all patients. Understanding that budget can play a part in oral ... of perks, including discounts on many valuable dental treatments. Options for individuals, couples, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... 2016  Today, Simpson Healthcare Executives, a global leader ... selected as winners of multiple awards at the 2016 ... the PLATINUM level, Blue Zones Menu at the GOLD ... Level, and our proprietary 3ConneX Platform at the HONORABLE ... we are excited to showcase our new Platinum and ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... bioLytical Laboratories (das "Unternehmen"), ein Weltführer bei schnellen ... HIV-Selbsttests  in einer Version mit geringeren Kosten einzuführen.  ... ... New: INSTI Self Test! (PRNewsFoto/bioLytical Laboratories) ...      (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161201/444833 ) ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... DUBLIN , Nov 30, 2016 Research ... for Intracranial Pressure Monitoring Devices 2017 - MedCore" report to their ... , , ... the brain and the skull. In healthy individuals, it is circulated though ... there are cases where the amount of CSF surrounding the brain changes ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: