Factors influencing mammography participation in Canada: an integrative review of the literature

Curr Oncol. 2009 Sep;16(5):65-75. doi: 10.3747/co.v16i5.359.


This integrative review critically examines quantitative and qualitative evidence concerning factors influencing the participation of Canadian women in mammography. Empirical studies published between 1980 and 2006 were identified and retrieved by searching electronic databases and references listed in published studies. Among the 1461 citations identified and screened, 52 studies met the inclusion criteria and were independently appraised by two researchers. Extracted data were categorized, summarized, compared, and interpreted within and across studies. The presentation of barriers and facilitators to mammography was guided by the Pender Health Promotion Model. Findings from this review showed that no published studies were specific to settings in Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the three Canadian territories. The most common barriers to screening were membership in an ethnic minority and concerns about pain, radiation, and embarrassment. The recommendation of a health care provider for mammography was found to be the most common facilitator for the engagement of women in this health behaviour. The targeting of specific strategies aimed at overcoming identified barriers and the enhancement of facilitators are essential to improving mammography participation rates throughout Canada.

Keywords: Canada; Mammography; barriers; breast screening; facilitators; integrative; review.