Perceived risk of colorectal cancer: sources of risk judgments

Robb, K.A. , Miles, A. and Wardle, J. (2007) Perceived risk of colorectal cancer: sources of risk judgments. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, 16(4), pp. 694-702. (doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-06-0151)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


Perceived risk of disease plays a key role in health behaviors, making it an important issue for cancer-preventive behavior research. This study describes studies using complimentary methodologies to investigate the determinants of perceived risk of developing colorectal cancer. In study 1, questionnaires were mailed to a community sample of 1,056 adults ages 45 to 65 years. They assessed risk factors for colorectal cancer and perceived risk of colorectal cancer and asked respondents to explain why they had rated their risk as they had. Consistent with previous studies, risk factors for colorectal cancer were significantly correlated with perceived risk, although associations were relatively weak. The most frequently cited reasons for risk judgments were diet, family history, and symptoms/general health. Not surprisingly, correlations between each risk factor and perceived risk were stronger among participants who had attributed their risk to that factor. Study 2 used semi-structured interviews to explore individuals' explanations for their perceived risk of colorectal cancer. Adults (n = 18) ages 60 to 63 years volunteered a variety of explanations, but their experiences of cancer seemed to be most salient to their risk estimates. These studies suggest that attributions people make for their risk judgments are important in understanding how they conceptualize risk, but appreciation of experiential and affective influences may be useful in fully understanding perceptions of risk.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Robb, Professor Katie
Authors: Robb, K.A., Miles, A., and Wardle, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > General Practice and Primary Care
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention
Publisher:American Association for Cancer Research
ISSN (Online):1538-7755

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record