Barriers and facilitators related to mammography use among lower educated Mexican women in the USA

Soc Sci Med. 2009 Mar;68(5):832-9. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2008.12.023. Epub 2009 Jan 17.


This study explores barriers to and facilitators of breast cancer screening and how people in a woman's social network influence these screening behaviors. A total of 40 semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted in rural Washington State (USA) among Mexican women aged 50 and over. Eligible women reported either having had a mammogram within the last two years, over two years ago, or never. We found that lack of health insurance, the perception that the mammogram is painful, and fear of finding cancer were cited as barriers to participation in mammography screening. Women who had lived in the US for a shorter period were more likely to report never having had a mammogram than women who had lived in the US for a longer period. Women often cited daughters and female friends as those from whom they received advice or encouragement to receive a mammogram. Few differences were found related to network size and mammography use among the groups. These findings may be useful in designing interventions to promote mammography use. Including daughters in intervention activities may help facilitate mammography use among Mexican women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Services Accessibility* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Mammography / statistics & numerical data*
  • Mexican Americans / psychology*
  • Mexican Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology
  • Social Support
  • United States
  • Washington
  • Women's Health / ethnology