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Health Care Women Int. 2011 Jul;32(7):581-98. doi: 10.1080/07399332.2011.565527.

Factors associated with female provider preference among African American women, and implications for breast cancer screening.

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  • 1Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


Globally, breast cancer incidence is increasing. Early detection remains important for addressing disparities, including among U.S. minorities. Seeing a female physician increases screening, but the effects of unmet provider gender preference among underserved populations remain unexplored. Among 576 urban African American women age 45-93, we examined predictors of gender preference and how met and unmet preference influenced screening. We conclude that provider gender is a "double-edged sword." We saw a female provider screening benefit, but also that gender preference was associated with past disadvantage and attitudes inconsistent with health maintenance. Provider gender preference merits further consideration in women's health research.

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