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J Community Health. 1992 Aug;17(4):191-204.

Urban black women's perceptions of breast cancer and mammography.

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  • 1Department of Health Promotion, University of Toledo, OH 43606.


The purpose of this study was to examine differences in perceptions of breast cancer and mammography between black women who wanted a mammogram and those who did not. The subjects were 186 low socioeconomic black women who attended an inner city community health clinic (83% response rate). There were no significant differences on the demographic and background variables between women who did (N = 139) and did not (N = 47) want a mammogram. The knowledge level of both groups regarding breast cancer was poor. Those who desired a mammogram perceived themselves as more susceptible to breast cancer, and considered breast cancer more severe than those who did not want a mammogram. Neither group identified many barriers to obtaining a mammogram. The majority (at least 88 percent of those who wanted a mammogram and at least 55 percent of those who did not) agreed with each of the five benefit items. Eighty-five percent of both groups agreed they would receive a mammogram if their physician told them to do so. The two Health Belief Model components which accounted for the largest percentage of the variance between women who wanted a mammogram and those who did not were perceived benefits (13 percent) and perceived susceptibility (3 percent).

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