Health-related quality of life, anxiety and depression related to mammography screening in Norway

J Clin Nurs. 2012 Nov;21(21-22):3223-34. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2012.04244.x. Epub 2012 Sep 1.


Aim and objectives: To measure health-related quality of life, anxiety and depression ahead of mammography screening and to assess any differences in health-related quality of life compared to reference population.

Background: The study of health-related quality of life among attendees prior to mammography screening has received little attention, and increased knowledge is needed to better understand the overall health benefits of participation.

Design: A two-group cross-sectional comparative study was performed.

Methods: The samples comprised 4,249 attendees to mammography screening and a comparison group of 943 women. We used the SF-36 Health Survey to assess health-related quality of life. Linear regression was used to study any differences between the groups with adjustment for age, level of education, occupation, having children and smoking status. Other normative data were also used. Anxiety and depression were assessed using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.

Results: Attendees scored statistically significant higher on the SF-36 than the comparison group but were in line with normative data. Attendees had anxiety mean 4·1 and depression mean 2·6.

Conclusions: The majority of the attendees have a high health-related quality of life, low anxiety and depression ahead of screening. Anxiety and depression were less than shown in normative data from Norway. Despite a high health-related quality of life, low anxiety and depression among the majority, healthcare workers should pay special attention to the few women who are anxious and depressed, and have a lower health-related quality of life. Omitted from mammography screening may be women who are unemployed, have lower socioeconomic status, are anxious and are depressed. Further research should be performed with non-attendees and subgroups to improve the screening programme.

Relevance to clinical practice: It is important to identify which patients have the greatest need for support and caring in an organised mammography screening and who may be overlooked.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anxiety / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammography / psychology*
  • Mass Screening
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Quality of Life*