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Soc Sci Med. 1999 Oct;49(7):933-41.

Risk factors of pain in mammographic screening.

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Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Antwerp (UIA), Wilrijk, Belgium.


Mammography is an important tool in the secondary prevention of breast cancer. However, earlier research has pointed out that an unpleasant experience during a previous mammography can deter women from returning for mammography screening. It is known that mammography can be a painful examination for some women. The research presented in this article focuses on the experience of pain during and after mammography (247 patients). Firstly, the study sets out to determine the extent to which women actually experience pain as a result of mammographic examination. Secondly, it focuses on identifying the factors that determine the risk of a painful experience during the screening procedure. A pain model was developed that takes into account a broad range of potential pain factors, including other than woman-related factors and factors associated with the actual examination. Special attention was paid to the examination context, the mammographic procedure and the screening staff. The research results show that the majority of women experience pain during mammography. With a logistic regression a number of women-related factors, staff-related and procedural factors were found significant in assessing the pain risk during mammography.

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