Women's preferences for selective estrogen reuptake modulators: An investigation using protection motivation theory

Angelique F. Ralph, Brittany Ager, Melanie L. Bell, Ian M. Collins, Lesley Andrews, Kathy Tucker, Kelly Anne Phillips, Phyllis Butow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objective: Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) reduce breast cancer risk by 38%. However, uptake is low and the reasons are not well understood. This study applied protection motivation theory (PMT) to determine factors associated with intention to take SERMs. Methods: Women at increased risk of breast cancer ( N= 107), recruited from two familial cancer clinics in Australia, completed a questionnaire containing measures of PMT constructs. Hierarchical multiple linear regression analysis was used to analyze the data. Results: Forty-five percent of women said they would be likely or very likely to take SERMs in the future. PMT components accounted for 40% of variance in intention to take SERMs. Perceived vulnerability, severity and response efficacy appeared the most influential in women's decisions to take or not take SERMs. Conclusion: Many women are interested in SERMs as a risk management option. Accurate risk estimation and an understanding of the benefits of SERMs are critical to women's decision making. Practice implications: Health professionals need to explore women's perceptions of their risk and its consequences, as well as providing clear evidence-based information about the efficacy of SERMs. Exploring the source and strength of beliefs about SERMs may allow more effective, tailored counseling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-112
Number of pages7
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • BRCA1
  • Breast cancer
  • Chemoprevention
  • Patient preferences
  • Protection motivation theory
  • SERMs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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