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J Cancer Educ. 2002 Winter;17(4):231-6.

A breast cancer education and on-site screening intervention for unscreened African American women.

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  • 1Department of Community Medicine, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan 48201, USA.



This study tested a breast cancer education intervention for African American women with poor screening histories. Disparities in rates of later-stage disease and death may be related to lower screening rates due to behavioral (e.g., knowledge gap) and structural (e.g., access) barriers.


94 African American women (low-income, poor screening histories) were randomly assigned for an educational and on-site screening intervention, or non-intervention status. Primary care sites were used for educational purposes. Three-month post-intervention mammography was assessed.


The intervention group had significantly higher screening rates than the non-intervention group. The latter had a knowledge gap, poor screening history, cancer fears, and insurance differences relative to the screened women. Screening was predicted by behavioral, rather than structural factors.


Since low-income African American women face behavioral and structural barriers to breast cancer screening, an educational program that improves knowledge levels and is offered in primary care sites can effectively impact screening.

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