Objective: To assess the psychometric properties of the Threatening Medical Situations Inventory (TMSI) in a community sample (Study 1), and to examine its usefulness in individuals with a strong family history of cancer (Study 2). Methods: Study 1 participants (N = 276) completed 2 online surveys, 14 days apart. Study 2 participants (N = 311) completed 2 questionnaires, 6 months apart. Results: Both studies revealed the inventory was psychometrically sound, although some concerns were raised about the factor structure. High monitors in Study 1 reported desiring more health-related information and an active role in medical decision-making. High monitors in Study 2 had the greatest knowledge increase when they received a detailed decision aid, compared to a brief pamphlet. Conclusion: The TMSI is appropriate for use in both community and clinical samples. High monitors in the general community are more likely to prefer receiving as much health-related information as possible and desire an active role in decision-making about their health. Practice implications: Familial cancer clinic patients may benefit from tailoring the amount of information they receive to their coping style, such that patients who are vigilant information-seekers may benefit most from receiving more detailed information about genetic testing.