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Women with false-positive mammograms report high anxiety and reduced quality of life
Date:1/13/2011

vel of independence, social relationships, environment and spirituality.

Clinical data were obtained from the women's medical records and they were also asked to complete questionnaires providing demographic information such as age, marital status, education and socioeconomic status.

Women in the breast cancer (BC) group were significantly older than the women in the false-positive (FP) group 60.2 years versus 57.3 years. They also had larger tumours than the FP group 17.4mm versus 9.9mm.

The key factors influencing QoL scores differed between the two groups:

  • Trait anxiety (a tendency to experience anxiety) accounted for up to 55 per cent of the variance in the QoL score in the FP group. It reached this peak at three months, but was similar at months one and 12 (43 per cent and 40 per cent respectively).

  • State anxiety (temporary anxiety due to a specific situation) accounted for up to 46 per cent of the variance in the BC group. It peaked at six months, but was similar in months one and 12 (32 per cent and 34 per cent).

  • State anxiety levels did not significantly influence QoL in the FP group and trait anxiety levels did not influence QoL in the BC group.

Significantly more diagnostic procedures, including biopsies, were needed in the FP group to reach a final diagnosis. Only 14 per cent of the BC group required four procedures - the other 86 per cent required three - while 32 per cent of the FP group required more than three. Fifty-five per cent of the FP group returned to the outpatient clinic in the first year, some as many as eight times.

The authors believe that the anxiety and lower QoL experienced by women in the FP group were soley due to the recall after screening and the subsequent diagnostic procedures.

"The decision to participate in a screening programme requires balanced information about the potential benefits and dangers" says Dr van der St
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Contact: Annette Whibley
wizard.media@virgin.net
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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