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Womens Health Issues. 2012 Jul-Aug;22(4):e395-401. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2012.04.006. Epub 2012 Jun 1.

Perceptions of the screening mammography experience by Hispanic and non-Hispanic White women.

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  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas 66160, USA.



To uncover perceptive differences in mammography experiences (from scheduling the mammography appointment to receipt and reporting of mammography results) between women from two different racial/ethnic groups.


Focus groups (n = 9) were conducted with Hispanic, and non-Hispanic White women (n = 88) who were aged 40 years or older and had a mammogram within the preceding 36 months. We used a qualitative ethnographic approach with content analysis to identify key categories present in the transcripts and domain analysis to discover domains of meaning. A matrix was designed to determine which domains differed by racial/ethnic group. The primary mammography-related topics of focus group discussion included 1) the scheduling process, 2) the day of the mammogram, 3) receipt of results, and 4) recommendations to improve the mammography process.


Six domains uniquely described issues women of the differing racial/ethnic groups experience and perceive as important. Hispanic women highlighted embarrassment surrounding the examination and fear of negative news about their mammography results. Non-Hispanic White women focused on instructions given before or during the examination as a critical process feature.


Perceptions of the mammography experience vary by race/ethnicity. Mammography experiences might be improved through enhanced sensitivity of healthcare personnel to cultural differences in perceptions of mammogram testing. Future research to investigate the extent to which the domains of meanings uncovered in this study influence a women's decision to return for routine mammograms would be of great value.

Copyright © 2012 Jacobs Institute of Women's Health. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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