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Significant disparities still exist in screening mammography rates; minorities underestimated

one percent Native Americans and 2.8 percent Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders. Her analysis found that these numbers were sufficient in 51 states for whites but only 35 states for African Americans; 36 states for Hispanics; 11 states for Native Americans; and 10 states for Asian Americans.

"Both BRFSS and NHIS studies rely on self-reported health behavior, which may not accurately reflect the actually receipt of health services," she reported.

Peek reported that this under sampling has health policy implications because if public health officials and researchers assume that some medically under-served groups such as African-Americans have achieved parity, outreach efforts and interventions may be halted or downsized, when these efforts are still very much needed.

Her study did find several methods that seem to be effective at increasing the rates of mammography screening. Outreach efforts that target individuals directly in health care settings were successful in increasing mammography use by 17.6 percent compared with similar efforts in a community setting.

"We found that the most effective patient targeted strategies to increase mammography use are access-enhancing efforts, such as mobile vans, transportation services, and reduced cost mammograms," Peek said.


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Contact: Chris Martin
cmartin@rush.edu
312-942-7820
Rush University Medical Center
13-Feb-2004


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