The importance of health responsibility as one aspect of a health-promoting lifestyle has been emphasized repeatedly. Yet there are only a few empirical studies of its role in preventive behavior. We examined the relationship between health responsibility and early-detection practices for breast and cervical cancer. A group of 253 women employees of a large industrial company participated in a cancer screening program subsidized by the employer. They completed questionnaires assessing health responsibility and reported early-detection practices: frequency of breast self-examination and physician breast examinations, frequency of Pap tests, and time lapsed since last Pap test and breast examinations. Health responsibility was a significant independent predictor of breast examination indicators but not of Pap tests. Education level was an important predictor for Pap tests, and age predicted most early-detection practices. The findings lend some support to the role of health responsibility in initiating breast examinations. Better prediction of early-detection practices could be achieved by adding cognitive and emotional components to the existing responsibility scale and by distinguishing between retrospective and prospective responsibility.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Professions (all)