Does Cholesterol Screening Result in Negative Labeling Effects? Results of the Massachusetts Model Systems for Blood Cholesterol Screening Project

Stephen Havas*, Joel Reisman, Lily Hsu, Lauren Koumjian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

Several previous studies that looked at the effects of labeling individuals as hypertensive found increases in psychosocial distress, diminished feelings of well-being, or absenteeism. Oth er studies found no such effects. Thus far, similar studies relat ing to labeling for high blood cholesterol levels have not been published. The Massachusetts Model Systems for Blood Choles terol Screening Project investigated whether labeling effects occurred as a result of the community-based screening, educa tion, and referral programs it conducted in Worcester and Lowell. Nine questions concerning perceptions of physical and psycho logical well-being were asked on a questionnaire given to screen ing participants. The same questions were asked as part of a follow-up questionnaire given to all individuals identified as hav ing high blood cholesterol levels at one of the screenings. Com parison of the baseline and follow-up results did not demonstrate significant overall negative effects among any age, sex, racial, income, or educational groups. On the contrary, responses to many of the questions revealed small but statistically significant improvements in perceptions of physical and psychological well-being. The absence of negative labeling effects may be attributable to the positive, supportive approach to participant counseling taken by the project.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-119
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Internal Medicine
Volume151
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Does Cholesterol Screening Result in Negative Labeling Effects? Results of the Massachusetts Model Systems for Blood Cholesterol Screening Project'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this