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2009 Southern Regional Meeting Abstracts

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Session: Clinical Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine

Arnold CL1, Rademaker A2, Bocchini MV1, Bass PF1, Reynolds C1, Davis TC1. 1LSU Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, LA and 2Northwestern University, Chicago, IL.

Purpose of Study: Regular breast cancer screening rates are low in Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). To determine more effective strategies to increase initial and repeat breast cancer screening, we are conducting a randomized control trial in 6 FQHCs in North Louisiana. This report presents baseline data on the knowledge, attitudes and behavior (KAB) of women 40 and over in 4 rural FQHCs.
Methods Used: Eligible patients (women > 39 who had not received a mammogram in the last 2 years and/or who had not had breast cancer) were given a structured interview that assessed literacy and breast cancer screening KAB.
Summary of Results: Of the 203 patients interviewed to date: 52% are AA, 48% white; 33% have not completed high school and 35% are reading < 9th grade level. 85% reported they had received a recommendation for mammography from a doctor. 77% had previously had a mammogram, yet 53% of these had not been rescreened in 4 or more years. The most common reasons women reported not getting a mammogram was because they put it off (63%) or they had not had any problems (13%); only 9% said it was because they were afraid they would find out they had cancer. Attitudes about mammograms were positive: 95% believed if breast cancer is detected early their chances of survival are good to very good. 92% reported if they would want to know if they had breast cancer. The most common misconception about mammograms was the age of initial screening - 78% believed it was < age 40. Among commonly perceived barriers, 71% reported mammograms were uncomfortable; however, only 20% believed they were embarrassing or thought they were a lot of trouble (15%). In these rural areas, 87% reported it would be easy to get transportation to get a mammogram.
Conclusions: This data indicates that among women cared for in rural FQHCs, lack of knowledge about breast cancer screening does not appear to be the issue. The majority of women had had an initial mammogram and most had received a recommendation from their doctor. However, these women were not up to date with their screening. Commonly cited barriers in the literature, such as transportation, embarrassment and fear, were not reported to be an issue with these women.

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