Factors associated with repeat mammography screening

J Fam Pract. 2000 Dec;49(12):1104-12.


Background: Even organizations with differing mammography recommendations agree that regular repeat screening is required for mortality reduction. However, most studies have focused on one-time screening rather than repeat adherence. We compare trends in beliefs and health-related behaviors among women screened and adherent to the National Cancer Institute's screening mammography recommendations (on schedule), those screened at least once and nonadherent (off schedule), and those never screened.

Methods: Our data are from a baseline telephone interview conducted among 1,287 female members of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina who were aged either 40 to 44 years or 50 to 54 years.

Results: The 3 groups differed significantly on beliefs and health-related behaviors, with the off-schedule group almost consistently falling between the on-schedule and never screened groups. Off-schedule women were more likely than on-schedule women, but less likely than those never screened, to not have a clinical breast examination within 12 months, to be ambivalent about screening mammography, to be confused about screening guidelines, and to not be advised by a physician to get a mammogram in the past 2 years. Off-schedule women perceived their breast cancer risk as lower and were less likely to be up to date with other cancer screening tests.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that women who are off schedule are in need of mammography-promoting interventions, including recommendations from and discussion with their health care providers. Because they are more positive and knowledgeable about mammography than women who have never been screened, they may benefit from brief interventions from health care providers that highlight the importance of repeat screening.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Logistic Models
  • Mammography*
  • Mass Screening*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • North Carolina
  • Odds Ratio
  • Patient Compliance
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors