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Declining the offer of flexible sigmoidoscopy screening for bowel cancer: a qualitative investigation of the decision-making process

McCaffery, Kirsten and Borrill, Jo and Williamson, Sara and Taylor, Tamara and Sutton, Stephen and Atkin, Wendy and Wardle, Jane (2001) Declining the offer of flexible sigmoidoscopy screening for bowel cancer: a qualitative investigation of the decision-making process. Social Science & Medicine, 53 (5). pp. 679-691. ISSN 0277-9536

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0277-9536(00)00375-0

Abstract

Qualitative methods were used to investigate decision-making among a group of older adults who declined the offer of flexible sigmoidoscopy screening for bowel cancer. Interviews were conducted with 60 people (30 men and 30 women) who either had not responded to the screening letter or who responded saying that they were not interested in participating. The findings suggest that low perceived susceptibility to bowel cancer, in terms of current health status, family history or absence of bowel symptoms, was an important factor in the decision to decline screening. Procedural barriers such as embarrassment, pain/discomfort and perceived unpleasantness of the test were reported as relatively minor, although the test was considered more physically intrusive than other screening tests. Avoidant attitudes emerged as an important theme and were reported by a third of respondents. Distinct patterns of decision-making were also observed and three groups emerged from accounts: (i) forgetting or avoiding making a decision about the test (ii) a confident rejection of the test based on a few salient factors, and (iii) a more careful consideration of the test focusing on issues of susceptibility. The findings are discussed in the context of models of health behaviour and bowel cancer screening participation research.

Item Type:Article
Research Community:University of Westminster > Social Sciences, Humanities and Languages, School of
ID Code:10025
Deposited On:06 Oct 2011 15:20
Last Modified:06 Oct 2011 15:20

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