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Am J Public Health. 1989 Jun;79(6):721-6.

The acceptance and completion of mammography by older black women.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48201.


We assessed the relation of patient characteristics, knowledge and beliefs to the utilization of mammography in an inner-city setting by 187 Black women over the age of 50. Thirty per cent of those who were offered mammography initially declined the offer and 40 per cent were subsequently unable to complete the procedure. Patient interviews were used to derive 27 potential knowledge and health belief predictor scales. In multiple regression analysis, two health belief scales and two knowledge scales accounted for 15 per cent of the observed variance in the model of acceptance. The strongest predictor of subsequent completion was initial acceptance. The presence of breast symptoms and two health belief scales together with initial acceptance accounted for 26 per cent of variance in the model of completion. These results suggest that the successful accomplishment of mammography requires coordinated efforts at the level of the provider, patient, and setting. Health beliefs may influence the patient's behavior in this process, but their effect appears to be modest.

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