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Educational differences in responses to breast cancer symptoms: A qualitative comparative study

Overview of attention for article published in British Journal of Health Psychology, September 2016
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (81st percentile)

Mentioned by

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15 tweeters

Citations

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7 Dimensions

Readers on

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39 Mendeley
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Title
Educational differences in responses to breast cancer symptoms: A qualitative comparative study
Published in
British Journal of Health Psychology, September 2016
DOI 10.1111/bjhp.12215
Pubmed ID
Authors

Marcu, Afrodita, Black, Georgia, Vedsted, Peter, Lyratzopoulos, Georgios, Whitaker, Katriina L., Whitaker, Katriina L, Turner, A J, Hick, P E, Afrodita Marcu, Georgia Black, Peter Vedsted, Georgios Lyratzopoulos, Katriina L. Whitaker, Marcu, A, Black, G, Vedsted, P, Lyratzopoulos, G, Whitaker, KL

Abstract

Advanced stage at diagnosis for breast cancer is associated with lower socio-economic status (SES). We explored what factors in the patient interval (time from noticing a bodily change to first consultation with a health care professional) may contribute to this inequality. Qualitative comparative study. Semi-structured interviews with a sample of women (≥47 years) from higher (n = 15) and lower (n = 15) educational backgrounds, who had experienced at least one potential breast cancer symptom. Half the participants (n = 15) had sought medical help, half had not (n = 15). Without making breast cancer explicit, we elicited women's sense-making around their symptoms and help-seeking decisions. Containment of symptoms and confidence in acting upon symptoms emerged as two broad themes that differentiated lower and higher educational groups. Women from lower educational backgrounds tended to attribute their breast symptoms to trivial factors and were reticent in using the word 'cancer'. Despite 'knowing' that symptoms could be related to cancer, women with lower education invoked lack of medical knowledge - 'I am not a doctor' - to express uncertainty about interpreting symptoms and accessing help. Women with higher education were confident about interpreting symptoms, seeking information online, and seeking medical help. Our findings suggest that knowledge of breast cancer alone may not explain socio-economic differences in how women respond to breast cancer symptoms as women with lower education had 'reasons' not to react. Research is needed on how to overcome a wider spectrum of psycho-social factors to reduce future inequality. Statement of contribution What is already known on this subject? Seven of ten breast cancers in the UK are diagnosed after people contact their doctor with symptoms. Women from lower socio-economic backgrounds are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced disease. There is little evidence related to potential drivers of this SES inequality. What does this study add? We qualitatively explored socio-economic (SES) differences in help-seeking for breast symptoms. Women with higher education were more confident about interpreting symptoms and navigating health care. Women with lower education were more reluctant to seek help due to fear of cancer.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 15 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 39 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 39 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 8 21%
Student > Master 7 18%
Student > Bachelor 6 15%
Student > Doctoral Student 4 10%
Unspecified 4 10%
Other 10 26%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Psychology 11 28%
Unspecified 10 26%
Medicine and Dentistry 6 15%
Nursing and Health Professions 5 13%
Sports and Recreations 2 5%
Other 5 13%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 10. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 04 October 2017.
All research outputs
#1,320,193
of 11,868,523 outputs
Outputs from British Journal of Health Psychology
#158
of 506 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#47,077
of 261,044 outputs
Outputs of similar age from British Journal of Health Psychology
#5
of 7 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 11,868,523 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 88th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 506 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 12.0. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 68% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 261,044 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 81% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 7 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than 2 of them.