Psychiatric morbidity and non-participation in breast cancer screening

Breast. 2016 Feb;25:38-44. doi: 10.1016/j.breast.2015.10.002. Epub 2015 Nov 12.

Abstract

Background: Organised breast cancer screening is currently one of the best strategies for early-stage breast cancer detection. However, early detection has proven challenging for women with psychiatric disease. This study aims to investigate psychiatric morbidity and non-participation in breast cancer screening.

Methods: We conducted an observational cohort study including women invited to the first organised screening round in the Central Denmark Region. Data on psychiatric diagnosis, psychoactive prescription medicine and consultation with private psychiatrists were obtained from Danish registries and assessed for a period of up to 10 years before the screening date.

Results: The cohort comprised 144,264 women whereof 33.0% were registered with an indication of psychiatric morbidity. We found elevated non-participation propensity among women with a psychiatric diagnosis especially for women with schizophrenia and substance abuse. Also milder psychiatric morbidity was associated with higher non-participation likelihood as women who had redeemed psychoactive prescription medicine or have had minimum one consultation with a private psychiatrist were more likely not to participate. Finally, we found that the chronicity of psychiatric morbidity was associated with non-participation and that woman who had a psychiatric morbidity defined as 'persistent' had higher likelihood of non-participation than women with recently active morbidity or inactive psychiatric morbidity.

Conclusion: This study showed a strong association between psychiatric morbidity and an increased likelihood of non-participation in breast cancer screening in a health care system with universal and tax-funded health services. This knowledge may inform interventions targeting women with psychiatric morbidity as they have poorer breast cancer prognosis.

Keywords: Breast cancer; Denmark; Psychiatric diseases; Psychoactive medicine; Screening participation.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Denmark
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods
  • Early Detection of Cancer / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Mass Screening / psychology*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Participation / psychology*
  • Registries