Socioeconomic inequalities in colorectal cancer screening uptake: does time perspective play a role?

Whitaker, Katriina L, Good, Anna, Miles, Anne, Robb, Katie, Wardle, Jane and von Wagner, Christian (2011) Socioeconomic inequalities in colorectal cancer screening uptake: does time perspective play a role? Health Psychology, 30 (6). pp. 702-709. ISSN 1930-7810

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Objective: This study examined the role of time perspective in explaining inequalities in colorectal cancer screening attendance. We tested a path model predicting that (a) socioeconomic status (SES) would be associated with consideration of future consequences (CFC), (b) CFC would be associated with perceived benefits/barriers, and (c) barriers and benefits would be associated longitudinally with screening attendance. Method: Data for these analyses came from the control arm (n = 809) of an intervention to increase screening uptake. Participants between 55 and 64 years were offered screening as part of the U.K. Flexible Sigmoidoscopy (FS) Trial. They completed a questionnaire that included demographic and psychological variables. Subsequent screening attendance was recorded. Results: There was clear evidence of SES differences in attendance, with 56% in the most deprived tertile attending their FS appointment, compared with 68% in the middle tertile and 71% in the least deprived tertile (p < .01). Lower SES was associated with lower CFC, higher perceived barriers, and lower perceived benefits (p < .05 for all). Higher CFC, higher perceived benefits, and lower perceived barriers were associated with attendance (p < .01 for all). CFC mediated the association between SES and perceived benefits/barriers, while perceived benefits/barriers mediated the association between CFC and attendance. Conclusion: SES differences in CFC contribute to SES differences in the perceived barriers and benefits of screening, which, in turn, contribute to differences in attendance. Interventions that take CFC into account, for example, by emphasizing short-term benefits, could promote equality in screening participation.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Depositing User: Anna Good
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2012 12:41
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2012 12:41
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