Interventions to improve uptake of breast screening in inner city Cardiff general practices with ethnic minority lists

Ethn Health. 1999 Nov;4(4):277-84. doi: 10.1080/13557859998056.


Objective: To increase the uptake of breast screening in three inner city GP practices with a high proportion of ethnic minority patients.

Setting: The study was carried out in May and June 1997 in the South East Wales division of Breast Test Wales (BTW). Three inner city general practices in Cardiff, with a low uptake in the previous round of breast screening and a high proportion of ethnic minority women on their lists, were targeted to receive interventions to increase uptake. This preliminary study was not randomized but sought to offer insights into the interventions which may be worth pursuing and the groups that are harder to reach.

Interventions: identification of ethnic language groups; GP endorsement letter; translated literature including: multilingual leaflet, GP letter, screening invitation; transport to the screening centre; language support.

Results: Of 369 women invited, 187 attended for screening. This gives an uptake of 50.7% compared with an uptake of 35.2% in the previous screening round, a statistically significant increase of 15.5%. (95% CI +8.2% to +22.5%).

Conclusion: Findings show that translated literature, GP endorsement letter and language support by linkworkers were beneficial. The provision of free transport was ineffective and under-utilized. Uptake was highest amongst Urdu and Gujarati speaking groups and lowest for Bengali and Somali speakers which are hardest to reach. There is scope for improving the attendance rate amongst ethnic minority groups but this can costly.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Communication Barriers
  • Emigration and Immigration / statistics & numerical data*
  • Family Practice / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • India / ethnology
  • Mass Screening / psychology
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data*
  • Needs Assessment
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Program Evaluation
  • Saudi Arabia / ethnology
  • Social Support
  • Somalia / ethnology
  • Translating
  • Transportation of Patients
  • Urban Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Wales