Prediction of psychological reactions to bone density screening for osteoporosis using a cognitive-behavioral model of anxiety

Katharine A Rimes, Paul M Salkovskis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Pre-screening measures derived from a cognitive-behavioral theory of health anxiety were significant predictors of individual differences in post-screening reactions to a health screening procedure, bone densitometry. The main sample of Ss were 298 women (aged 32-73) taking part in bone density measurement. Predictors included specific illness beliefs (vulnerability, severity/consequences, coping and treatment) and general health anxiety measures. Three months after a low bone mineral density (BMD) result, women with high levels of pre-existing general health anxiety gave higher ratings of anxiety about osteoporosis and perceived likelihood of developing osteoporosis than women with low levels of preexisting health anxiety, even though the two groups' initial ratings had not differed significantly. Women with a low BMD result generally showed "minimization" of the seriousness of low BMD but women with very high levels of pre-existing health anxiety did not. After a high BMD result, highly health anxious women were only temporarily reassured. The results were consistent with the cognitive-behavioral analysis of health anxiety.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-381
Number of pages23
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Volume40
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Keywords

  • osteoporosis
  • cognitive behavioral theory
  • individual differences
  • psychological reactions
  • bone densitometry
  • health anxiety
  • health screening

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