Women's Views of a Breast Screening Service

Health Care Women Int. 2003 Jan;24(1):40-8. doi: 10.1080/07399330390170015.


We performed this study to better understand women's views of the breast screening experience in order to improve the rate of uptake and the service offered. The sample comprised 27 women aged over 50 who had attended a regional breast screening service and received normal results. Data were collected through four focus groups. Results showed a need for a local, easily accessible breast screening unit with free car park facilities. Thus, women preferred a mobile screening unit that had a "cosy, nonclinical" atmosphere. Staff were reported to be efficient, caring, and helpful. Nonetheless, all women reported discomfort during the mammogram, and the nature of the procedure, during which women had their breasts squashed between two plates, was unexpected. Furthermore, women expressed anxiety about results, receiving recall letters, and about cancer in general. Women suggested the service should be advertised more widely and wanted more detailed information before and during screening. They demonstrated altruistic concern for other women who are currently excluded from the screening programme.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / prevention & control
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Mammography / methods
  • Mammography / psychology*
  • Mammography / statistics & numerical data
  • Mass Screening / psychology
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Mobile Health Units
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • United Kingdom
  • Women's Health Services / standards*
  • Women's Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Women's Health*