Objective: To describe women's breast screening knowledge, attitudes, intentions and practices.
Design: Telephone survey.
Participants: Random population-based sample of 383 women aged 50 to 69, living in Ottawa-Carleton, and having no history of breast cancer. Participation rates were 81%.
Results: Only 47% reported having had a mammogram within the two years before the survey, and 57% had received a physical breast exam within the previous year. Intentions to arrange screening were positively correlated to income, previous mammography, encouragement to have a mammogram, knowledge, knowing a person with breast cancer, an absence of negative attitudes (i.e., mammograms unnecessary), and low decisional conflict.
Conclusions: Improvements in participation rates will be achieved only if women are convinced of the need for screening, and physicians encourage them to be screened.