Receipt of diagnostic tests for breast cancer: validity of self-reports among low-income, mostly latina, indigent women

Eval Health Prof. 2010 Dec;33(4):437-51. doi: 10.1177/0163278710367802. Epub 2010 May 10.


Little is known about the validity of self-reported completion of diagnostic testing after an abnormal breast cancer screening test. This study assesses the validity of self-reported diagnostic follow-up among 819 low-income, mostly Latina, indigent women with a breast abnormality at two public hospitals in Los Angeles County. Survey responses on receipt of a mammogram, ultrasound, fine needle aspiration, surgical biopsy, or clinical breast exam for diagnostic evaluation of the breast abnormality were compared to medical record data. The authors calculated concordance, Cohen's κ statistic, and sensitivity and specificity. Kappa values indicated slight agreement for mammogram, ultrasound, and clinical breast exam, and moderate agreement for fine needle aspiration and surgical biopsy. Sensitivity of self-reports was high for all tests; specificity was poor for all tests except surgical biopsy. Self-reports of receipt of diagnostic testing for a breast abnormality among low-income, mostly Latina, indigent women are not accurate when compared to medical records.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Emigrants and Immigrants
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans*
  • Humans
  • Los Angeles
  • Medically Uninsured
  • Middle Aged
  • Poverty
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Report