The study authors concluded that mammography screening campaigns may want to include information about insurance and health plan benefits to help reduce what appears to be a major barrier to the exams for some women.
The findings appear online today and will be published in the June 15 issue of the journal Cancer.
Studies show that regular mammography screenings can help detect breast cancer in its earliest stages, when it is most curable. Although the American Cancer Society recommends all women age 40 and over get screened annually, mammography remains underutilized, especially among poor and minority women. Studies show that nationwide, roughly 25 percent of the women who should be getting mammography have not had an exam in the past two years, and nearly 40 percent of poor women have never had a mammogram.
Ann McAlearney, an assistant professor in the Division of Health Services Management & Policy in The Ohio State University School of Public Health, examined data from a study of mammography screening rates among rural, poor and minority women in Robeson County , N. C. (the ROSE Project). That project, which began in 1998 under the direction of Electra Paskett, a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics in the School of Public Health, was created to test a health intervention strategy designed to improve mammography screening rates in that region.
The data included information from face-to-face interviews with 897 women age 40 or older. Researchers conducted the interviews to find out the women's attitudes toward mammography and to find whether they had the exams. The interviews included questions about the cost of mammography and details about the women's insur
Contact: Michelle Gailiun
Ohio State University