, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp 449-460
Date: 30 Sep 2006

Spiritual Coping, Family History, and Perceived Risk for Breast Cancer—Can We Make Sense of it?

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Differences in spiritual beliefs and practices could influence perceptions of the role of genetic risk factors on personal cancer risk. We explored spiritual coping and breast cancer risk perceptions among women with and without a reported family history of breast cancer. Analyses were conducted on data from 899 women in primary care clinics who did not have breast cancer. Structural equation modeling (SEM), linear, and logistic modeling tested an interaction of family history of breast cancer on the relationship between spiritual coping and risk perceptions. Overall analyses demonstrated an inverse relationship between spiritual coping and breast cancer risk perceptions and a modifying effect of family history. More frequent spiritual coping was associated with lower risk perceptions for women with positive family histories, but not for those with negative family histories. Results support further research in this area that could influence communication of risk information to cancer genetic counseling patients.