Breast cancer screening behaviors and intentions among asymptomatic women 50 years of age and older

Am J Prev Med. Jul-Aug 1995;11(4):218-23.


We examined predictors of (1) compliance with yearly mammography and clinical breast examination (CBE) and (2) intention to obtain mammography and CBE within the following year. Subjects were 312 asymptomatic female hospital employees, 50 years or older, who had participated in a free worksite breast cancer screening program. Mammograms and CBEs had been obtained by 79% and 76% of the subjects, respectively, during the preceding 12 months. The majority of the subjects indicated that they were very/extremely likely to obtain a mammogram and CBE in the next 12 months (88% and 87%, respectively). Multivariate analyses showed that perceived barriers to and physician recommendation of mammography were the strongest predictors of both breast cancer screening behaviors and intentions. Recency of participation in the educational component of the screening program was related to both compliance with mammography in the past 12 months and intention to obtain CBE in the next year. Having a first-degree female relative with a history of breast cancer was related to compliance with CBE in the past 12 months. Perceived efficacy of mammography was related to intention to obtain both mammography and CBE in the next year, and number of reasons for mammography was related to intention to obtain mammography in the next year. Our results suggest that physicians play a key role in motivating women to comply with breast cancer screening and that reducing barriers to obtaining mammography may increase use further.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Mammography / statistics & numerical data*
  • Mass Screening*
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Psychological
  • Motivation
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Physician's Role
  • Prospective Studies
  • Texas