Why women resist screening mammography: patient-related barriers

Radiology. 1989 Jul;172(1):243-6. doi: 10.1148/radiology.172.1.2740510.


Mammography utilization remains below the level needed to achieve the National Cancer Institute's year-2000 goals for reducing breast cancer mortality by 50%. Previous research has identified both patient and physician barriers. The authors interviewed 600 randomly selected women who were offered a free mammographic examination. Interviews were conducted by professional interviewers using a brief, structured questionnaire. Data were analyzed with chi 2 Wilcoxon and Kruskal-Wallis rank-sum statistics and discriminant analysis. Noncompliant subjects reported more barriers than compliant subjects. The former were more likely to believe that mammography is unnecessary in the absence of symptoms and that it is inconvenient. In both the bivariate and multivariate analyses, the woman's belief that her doctor believes in regular mammography was an important predictor of compliance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Mammography* / psychology
  • Mammography* / statistics & numerical data
  • Mass Screening*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Socioeconomic Factors