Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Fear of Cancer and Theory of Planned Behavior as Predictors of Pap Screenings
by Rogers, Susan L., Ph.D., Northcentral University, 2017, 205; 10634620
Abstract (Summary)

Cervical cancer can be detected and successfully treated through recommended Pap screenings, but it remains the second most diagnosed type of cancer among women, due in large part, to lack of participation in recommended screening. Researchers utilize different theories when attempting to predict health behaviors, such as theory of planned behavior (TPB). TPB remains a primary lens through which health studies are conducted. However, TPB does not take into account the affective components that have been shown to influence decision making and behavior, such as fear. Fear of cancer has been shown to influence decision making with respect to preventative healthcare. The purpose of this quantitative, correlational study was to attempt to determine to what extent fear of cancer served as a predictor of Pap screening behaviors, over and above the predictive value of TPB. A convenience sample of women between the ages of 21 - 65 years, with a mean age of 46.6 years, was recruited via social media to participate in an online survey which is the demographic for whom Pap screening is recommended. Independent variables included TPB components (attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavior control) and fear of cancer. Demographic variables (age, race, and socioeconomic status) were controlled during hierarchical regression analysis in order to predict the dependent variable - intention to get Pap screenings. Multiple regression analysis showed that TPB components were all significant predictors of pap screen intention. Perceived behavior control (PBC) (t (85) = 4.357, p < .001), attitudes (t (85) = 2.046, p < .05), and subjective norms (SN) (t (85) = 2.550, p < .05) were all significant predictors of PSI. Demographics and fear of cancer (FOC) were not significant within this coefficient model. However, in terms of generalizing results to the larger population of women between 21 – 65 years, the model summary showed that demographics only accounted for .02% predictability, but when TPB components were added to the model, they accounted for 43% of the variance. Finally, when FOC was subsequently introduced to the model, predictability of pap screen intention increased from 43% to 44.5%. Albeit a small increase, these results suggest that while FOC may not be a better predictor over and above the predictive value of TPB components, a combination of affective components and TPB components may be beneficial for future health care studies.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Tanksale, Deepa
Commitee: Stones, Andjelka
School: Northcentral University
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 79/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Womens studies, Clinical psychology, Health education
Keywords: Cervical cancer, Pap screening, Theory of planned behavior
Publication Number: 10634620
ISBN: 978-0-355-40405-0
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