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Am J Public Health. 2010 May;100(5):947-53. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2008.150318. Epub 2009 Oct 15.

Barriers to adherence to screening mammography among women with disabilities.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, CB# 7510, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7510, USA.



Given the lack of screening mammography studies specific to women with disabilities, we compared reasons offered by women with and without disabilities for not scheduling routine screening visits.


We surveyed women in the Carolina Mammography Registry aged 40 to 79 years (n = 2970), who had been screened from 2001 through 2003 and did not return for at least 3 years, to determine reasons for noncompliance. In addition to women without disabilities, women with visual, hearing, physical, and multiple (any combination of visual, hearing, and physical) limitations were included in our analyses.


The most common reasons cited by women both with and without disabilities for not returning for screening were lack of a breast problem, pain and expense associated with a mammogram, and lack of a physician recommendation. Women with disabilities were less likely to receive a physician recommendation.


Women with disabilities are less likely than those without disabilities to receive a physician recommendation for screening mammography, and this is particularly the case among older women and those with multiple disabilities. There is a need for equitable preventive health care in this population.

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