Communicating breast cancer risks to women using different formats.


Journal Article

Using a pre-post test design with a baseline, laboratory, and a 6-month follow-up, we communicated women's objective breast cancer risks, based on the Gail Model, using two formats: (a) range of risks (e.g., risk of breast cancer can be as low as 1% and as high as 5%); and (b) as a point estimate (e.g., your risk of breast cancer is 3%). We examined how these presentations individually and jointly affected women's perceived lifetime breast cancer risks. Overall, providing risk estimates either as a range of risks or as a point estimate lowered women's perceived lifetime risks compared with women who did not get information presented this way shortly after receipt of this information relative to baseline. At the 6-month follow-up, perceptions of lifetime risks generally returned to their baseline values. Overall, women viewed their risk feedback, whether presented as a point estimate or as a range of risks, as equally credible, trustworthy, accurate, and personally relevant. These results suggest that women evaluate risk feedback containing either point estimates or range of risks as equally acceptable. Both formats lead to short-term reductions in perceived risk (i.e., greater accuracy).

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lipkus, IM; Klein, WM; Rimer, BK

Published Date

  • August 2001

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 10 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 895 - 898

PubMed ID

  • 11489757

Pubmed Central ID

  • 11489757

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1538-7755

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1055-9965


  • eng