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J Behav Med. 1994 Aug;17(4):391-406.

Health Belief Model variables as predictors of screening mammography utilization.

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Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10461.


Despite its efficacy, screening mammography is not widely utilized due to various factors. The Health Belief Model (HBM) has previously been used as one conceptualization of relevant patient attitudes. No psychometrically validated measure of these variables has previously been utilized, however, nor have prospective studies of women all of whom have been referred by their physicians for mammography been reported. The research reported here addressed both of those issues. A psychometrically validated measure of the HBM variables, perceived susceptibility, barriers, and benefits, was used, along with age, education, ethnicity, and family breast cancer history to predict mammography utilization in a prospective study of hospital employees. Being white, perceiving fewer benefits of and barriers to mammography, and having a family history of breast cancer were predictive of noncompliance. The avoidant behavior of employees with a family history of breast cancer must be addressed in attempts to increase mammography utilization. In addition, results of the study imply the need for full discussion with women referred for mammography of all issues related to its use, both its benefits and possible barriers.

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