Objective: This study examined racial differences in knowledge, attitudes and practices related to breast cancer screening of black and white women health maintenance organization members over age 40 who are employed at 75 worksites in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in the US.
Design: Data are from telephone interviews of 1677 women (20% black). The interviews queried background factors and concepts from the Health Belief Model.
Results: Compared to whites blacks were younger and less likely to be married or to have family history of breast cancer. They were also more likely to underestimate their cancer risk and to fear radiation, and less likely to have a doctor advise them to get mammograms. Black and white women did not differ in terms of self-reported mammography use. The results of multivariate modeling suggest that different set of knowledge and belief variables may explain mammography adherence among black and white women.
Conclusion: These findings have implications for clinical prevention and for patient and community health education in minority populations.