Duration of an intervention's impact on perceived breast cancer risk

John Martin Quillin, Donna K. McClish, Resa M. Jones, Diane B. Wilson, Kelly A. Tracy, Deborah Bowen, Joseph Borzelleca, Joann N. Bodurtha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This study explored risk perceptions after breast cancer risk appraisal. The study involved a randomized trial of Women's Health clinic patients (< 40 years old). Primary outcome was perceived breast cancer risk at baseline, 1 month, 6 months, and 18 months. Perceived breast cancer risks were higher than actual calculated risks at baseline. At baseline, 45% reported moderate/strong risk and 43% reported lower-than-average risk; 53% said that their risk was lower than 15%. Mean perceived lifetime risk was 31 out of 100. Throughout follow-up, the treatment group reported lower risks by all measures, as compared to controls. However, for African American women, perceived risk "out of 100 women" did not change. A brief health risk appraisal tends to lower breast cancer risk perceptions for at least 18 months, but the impact may vary by race/ethnicity. These findings could affect health behaviors, such as annual mammograms, which are influenced by perceived risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)855-865
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Education and Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast cancer
  • Health communication
  • Risk perceptions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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