Mammography pain and discomfort: a cognitive-behavioral perspective

Pain
F J KeefeP J Kornguth

Abstract

Although some women report having little pain or discomfort during mammography, other women find mammography to be a painful and uncomfortable experience. Cognitive and behavioral factors may influence the perception of pain and discomfort during mammography. This review critically evaluates the research on mammography pain from a cognitive-behavioral perspective. The review is in three sections. The first reviews studies measuring pain and discomfort in women who have recently had mammograms and studies investigating the relative importance of pain and discomfort in influencing women's decisions to have a mammogram. The second section presents a cognitive-behavioral model of mammography pain that is based on theories of behavior and self-regulation developed by Kanfer and Hagerman (1987). The review concludes with a discussion of the implications of the cognitive-behavioral perspective for clinical management and research on mammography pain and discomfort.

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