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Prev Med. 2005 Jul;41(1):312-20.

Who has regular mammograms? Effects of knowledge, beliefs, socioeconomic status, and health-related factors.

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Centre for Epidemiology, Indicators, Research and Evaluation, Division of Service Development and Population Health, Sydney West Area Health Service, Locked Bag 7118, Parramatta BC NSW 2150, Australia.



Breast cancer accounts for the largest proportion of female cancer deaths and new cases in New South Wales (NSW). Biennial screening is recommended for women aged 50-69 years. Objectives were to (1) identify associations between beliefs and knowledge about breast cancer and mammography, socioeconomic (SES) indicators, and health-related factors, and having a mammogram (a) ever and (b) within the last 2 years; and (2) describe utilization of mammography.


2974 women aged 50-69 years selected from the BreastScreen NSW (BSNSW) database and the NSW Electoral Roll were administered a structured telephone survey. Associations were assessed using weighted Chi squares and age-adjusted odds ratios from logistic regression with 95% confidence intervals.


Strong positive associations were found between age, married/de facto relationship, knowledge about and belief in the benefits of screening, indicators of health status and service utilization, and whether women had had a mammogram or had one within the recommended period. SES was weakly associated with regularity of mammography. Most respondents (97.4%) reported having had at least one mammogram.


Specific aspects of knowledge and beliefs about mammograms and individual health-related factors would be important components of initiatives to encourage initial and repeat screening in the targeted age group.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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