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April 5, 1985

Risk for Bladder CancerPsychological Impact of Notification

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Family Medicine, Medical College of Georgia (Drs Hornsby, Mongan, Gullen, Bono, and Altekruse), and the Department of Psychology, Augusta College (Dr Sappington), Augusta, Ga.

JAMA. 1985;253(13):1899-1902. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350370095031

Informing persons that they have been exposed to a carcinogenic chemical (β-naphthylamine) may adversely affect these persons and their families. The purpose of this study was to identify and assess the psychological impact of a bladder cancer notification and screening program on persons at risk and their families. Approximately 140 subjects were randomly selected from 850 workers exposed to β-naphthylamine. The Family APGAR, Impact of Event Scale, and Improved Readability Form of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory were administered within four weeks of the initial medical screening and readministered six months later. Results show no evidence of disruption to families or substantive psychopathology among these persons. While the actual acquisition of cancer is undoubtedly a psychological trauma, mere notification of risk may not be traumatic in every situation.

(JAMA 1985;253:1899-1902)