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October 18, 1995

Attitudes About Cancer Screening: Dinnertime Bias-Reply

Author Affiliations

Mayo Clinic Rochester, Minn

JAMA. 1995;274(15):1200. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530150024026

In Reply.  —I share Dr Dietrich's sense of irritation with telephone solicitations during the dinner hour and acknowledge that "dinnertime bias" may very well have been one reason why a significant proportion of the respondents to our survey said that they would not like to be reminded when they were due for cancer screening tests. However, there are data that suggest that ambivalence about testing needs to be seriously considered as the source of their response: (1) When the respondents were contacted, they were invited to schedule the interview for another time if they wished. Those who were eating dinner could have chosen this option. (2) The questions about desire to be reminded of the need for testing were in the middle of the interview, not the end; 93% of the respondents completed the entire interview. (3) More than 40% of women who had not had a mammogram within 2

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