Leventhal's Common Sense Model

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In the systematic analysis of the 23 studies we have highlighted the role of Leventhal’s Common Sense Model (SRM) in the analysis of hereditary / familial cancer and the role of the psycho-social impact on individuals affected by the disease or with high risk for the disease in the screening for hereditary / familial cancer and in the genetic testing and counseling. Thus, we have identified three themes in which we included the analyzed studies: a) identification of the predictors involved in the screening compliance, in the responses to health threats, in emotional distress; b) assessment of the emotional and cognitive impact, of the perceived risk and the perceived disease in genetic testing, of the family history of cancer or
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Thus, disease representations, particularly the cognitive ones, can be predictors of responses to health threats that determine different health behaviors (Shiloh, 2009; Kaphingst, 2009). Age, family history of cancer and worry about the disease are factors associated with the use of screening for cancer (Anagnostopoulos, 2012; Lifford, 2012). At the same time, the disease representation can cause, according to Cameron (2006), an irrational behavior or abandon of screening for cancer or the preservation of an unhealthy behaviour. For example, smokers who believe that the cause of cancer is a modified gene are less motivated to quit this unhealthy behavior and, instead, they exhibit an unrealistic optimism about their health and worry about cancer (Shiloh, 2009; Bradbury, 2009; Kaphingst, 2009; Hauwel,…show more content…
Thus, in the retrospective study on the impact of information about the history of parents with regard to BRCA mutations during adolescence or early adulthood (Bradbury, 2008), reporting to a control group of children whose parents had no personal history of cancer could change the results, as the presence of a parent with cancer during adolescence can have a psychological impact which influences disease representations. The need for a control group made of people who have specialized knowledge in oncology is also present in the study which aims to compare non-specialized representations of cancer among adults who did not suffer from cancer and who lived or did not live with patients suffering from this disease, in order to determine possible discrepancies (Del Castillo, 2011). In the study of differences between individuals with a family history of BRCA1/2 mutation or modified genes for HNPCC who opt for having their susceptibility to cancer tested, and in order to shape the characteristics of these individuals, it is necessary to compare these individuals with a control group of people who opt for genetic testing for other disorders (e.g., Huntington’s disease, familial hypercholesterolemia) and possibly with a group of people who do not opt for genetic testing (Oostrom,

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