Different measures of risk perceptions and distress yield different patterns of results: The importance of specificity in measurement and theory

David P. French, Theresa M. Marteau

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    There is little consensus on how to conceptualise and measure both cognitive perceptions of risks and affective responses to risks. We report data on two measures of risk perceptions and affective responses, as well as attendance behaviour, for 226 women who received a normal test result and 180 women who received a first or non-consecutive inadequate cervical smear test result. Different measures of risk perceptions (cognition) and distress about test result (affect) were not always strongly associated, often yielding markedly different patterns of results. This highlights the need for more precise reporting of measures and greater specificity of theoretical predictions. Suggestions for further studies investigating cognitive and affective reactions to health risk information are outlined. © 2008 Taylor & Francis.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)591-596
    Number of pages5
    JournalPsychology, Health and Medicine
    Volume13
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008

    Keywords

    • Anxiety
    • Cervical smear test result
    • Distress
    • Measurement
    • Risk perception
    • Screening

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