Information avoidance tendencies, threat management resources, and interest in genetic sequencing feedback.

Taber, Jennifer M, Klein, William M P, Ferrer, Rebecca A, Lewis, Katie L, Harris, Peter R, Shepperd, James A and Biesecker, Leslie G (2015) Information avoidance tendencies, threat management resources, and interest in genetic sequencing feedback. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 49 (4). pp. 616-21. ISSN 1532-4796

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Information avoidance is a defensive strategy that undermines receipt of potentially beneficial but threatening health information and may especially occur when threat management resources are unavailable.

PURPOSE

We examined whether individual differences in information avoidance predicted intentions to receive genetic sequencing results for preventable and unpreventable (i.e., more threatening) disease and, secondarily, whether threat management resources of self-affirmation or optimism mitigated any effects.

METHODS

Participants (N = 493) in an NIH study (ClinSeq®) piloting the use of genome sequencing reported intentions to receive (optional) sequencing results and completed individual difference measures of information avoidance, self-affirmation, and optimism.

RESULTS

Information avoidance tendencies corresponded with lower intentions to learn results, particularly for unpreventable diseases. The association was weaker among individuals higher in self-affirmation or optimism, but only for results regarding preventable diseases.

CONCLUSIONS

Information avoidance tendencies may influence decisions to receive threatening health information; threat management resources hold promise for mitigating this association.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
Depositing User: Lene Hyltoft
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2015 11:33
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2017 09:05
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/55820

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