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Cancer. 2002 Jul 15;95(2):219-27.

Factors associated with interval adherence to mammography screening in a population-based sample of New Hampshire women.

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Department of Community & Family Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, New Hampshire 03756, USA.



Interval adherence to mammography screening continues to be lower than experts advise. The authors evaluated, using a population-based mammography registry, factors associated with adherence to recommended mammography screening intervals.


The authors identified and recruited 625 women aged 50 years and older who did and did not adhere to interval mammography screening. Demographic and risk characteristics were ascertained from the registry and were supplemented with responses on a mailed survey to assess knowledge, perceived risk, anxiety regarding breast carcinoma and its detection, and women's experiences with mammography.


The authors found no differences in risk factors or psychologic profiles between adhering and nonadhering women. Women who did not adhere had a statistically higher body mass index than women who did adhere (27.6 versus 26.1, P = 0.003). Exploration of mammographic experiences by group found that care taken by technologists in performing or talking women through the exam was higher in adhering women than nonadhering women (75.6% vs 65.71% for performing the exam, and 71.6% vs 60.8% for talking patients through the exam, respectively, P < 0.05).


The authors found that previous negative mammographic experiences, particularly those involving mammography technologists, appear to influence interval adherence to screening and that patient body size may be an important factor in this negative experience.

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