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Appears in Collections:eTheses from Faculty of Natural Sciences legacy departments
Title: Health beliefs and personality correlates of breast cancer: from screening to mastectomy adjustment - a cross-cultural study between Scotland and Greece
Author(s): Chouliara, Zoe
Issue Date: 2003
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: The present thesis consists of three thematic parts in relation to breast cancer: (a) practice of breast self - examination (BSE), (b) screening mammography attendance and (c) adjustment to breast cancer surgery / mastectomy. The aims of the respective studies are (a) to examine attitudes, beliefs and practices regarding BSE in younger (30 years old or under) and older women (over 30 years old), (b) to explore attitudes and beliefs regarding mammography and identify factors associated with screening mammography attendance and (c) to explore factors associated with adjustment to breast cancer surgery. The above aims are explored in two different cultural contexts, by comparing samples from Scotland and Greece. Samples consisted (a) of 205 younger and 258 older women, university staff and students in Scotland and 85 younger women, university students in Greece, (b) 283 women who attended and 72 women who did not attend the National Breast Screening in Scotland, and 72 women undergoing mammography in Greece and (c) 19 women in Scotland and 27 women in Greece, who have undergone surgery for breast cancer. All participants were assessed on a variety of measures. These included demographics, health history, health beliefs and health - related personality variables. Results indicated that: 1. BSE was predicted by different variables across age and cultural groups. 2. In particular, practice of BSE in younger women was predicted by knowledge about breast cancer, perceived barriers, health motivation and cues for action, whereas practice in older women was predicted by knowledge about BSE, perceived barriers and cues for action. 3. BSE rates in both countries were higher than previously reported but did not differ between women in Scotland and Greece. However, the two groups differed in knowledge and attitudes, regarding BSE, and in personality. Women in Scotland appeared more knowledgeable regarding BSE, felt less susceptible to breast cancer and were less active in coping with health issues than women in Greece. Women in Greece valued their health more and scored higher in chance health locus of control beliefs than women in Scotland. 4. The best predictor of breast screening mammography attendance in Scotland was knowledge about mammography. Attenders appeared to have more knowledge about breast cancer and about mammography and to focus more on emotional coping, in order to deal with health stresses. 5. The two cultural groups differed in health-related decision making and health - related coping styles. Attenders in Scotland were more knowledgeable about risk factors related to breast cancer and about mammograms and perceived significantly more pain/discomfort associated with the procedure, than attenders in Greece. Attenders in Greece resorted more to acceptance and denial and were more likely to seek emotional support, in order to cope with health stressors than attenders in Scotland. 6. Health beliefs of breast cancer patients, in relation to their condition, and their style of coping with threatening information, concerning their breast problem, are highlighted as important factors to their adjustment in both cultures. However, adjustment to breast cancer surgery appears culture-specific, as different factors seem to determine it in different cultural contexts. 7. Patients in Scotland and Greece did not differ in their overall adjustment. However, Greek patients were significantly less well adjusted sexually postoperatively than patients in Scotland. Findings are discussed in relation to theoretical and practical implications.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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