Background: The purpose of this study was to determine whether the distance and time required for rural women to travel for a mammogram is associated with their compliance with screening mammography recommendations.
Methods: Women who were > or = 40 years old and visiting family physician offices for any reason were given a questionnaire regarding their frequency of mammography during the past 4 years, the distance and travel time from their homes to the nearest mammography unit, their attitudes and knowledge about mammography, and demographics. The study was conducted in the 12 family practices of the Upper Peninsula Research Network (UPRNet), a Michigan rural family practice research network.
Results: Eighty-eight percent (N = 416) of the women in the study had previously had mammography, but 41% were not compliant with American Cancer Society guidelines regarding mammography screening. After controlling for confounding, none of the measures of travel time or distance were associated with mammography compliance.
Conclusions: In this rural population, mammography compliance is not affected by distance, travel time, or transportation. A population-based study in a more remote area is needed to further explore geographic barriers to mammography compliance among rural women.