Factors Associated With Return for Routine Annual Screening in an Ovarian Cancer Screening Program


OBJECTIVE: To identify clinical, demographic, dispositional, and attitudinal variables associated with return for routine, annual transvaginal sonography (TVS) screening for ovarian cancer.

METHODS: Asymptomatic, average to high risk, women (n=585) participating in a free university-based ovarian cancer screening program completed a baseline interview prior to undergoing an initial TVS screening test. During the baseline interview, demographic (age, education, partner status, race), clinical (family history of ovarian cancer), dispositional (optimism, health values), and attitudinal (perceptions of personal risk for ovarian cancer and effectiveness of screening, intentions to return for repeat routine screening, discomfort during screening, satisfaction with the screening process, ovarian cancer-specific distress) information was obtained. Return for repeat screening was documented from screening program records.

RESULTS: Results from both multivariate proportional hazards and logistic regression analyses indicated that stated intentions to return for a repeat screening test within the next year was the strongest predictor of return for repeat screening. Possessing > or =12 years of education was also associated with a greater likelihood of repeat screening in both the proportional hazards and logistic regression analyses.

CONCLUSIONS: Results provide further support for low education as a risk factor for suboptimal participation in cancer screening. Results also highlight the critical link between intentions to perform a health-protective behavior and subsequent performance of that behavior and suggest that repeat screening could be enhanced by eliciting both an intention to return for annual ovarian cancer screening as well as a specific plan for implementing this intention.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in Gynecologic Oncology, v. 104, issue 3, p. 695-701.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)