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N Z Med J. 1993 Jul 14;106(959):284-6.

Nonparticipation in mammography screening: apathy, anxiety or cost?

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Timaru Hospital.



A survey was undertaken to find out why only 46% of eligible women had taken the opportunity to join the South Canterbury mammography screening programme in the first 22 months of operation.


One hundred and sixty seven randomly chosen women, aged between 40 and 65 years, who had not had a mammogram, were questioned about their knowledge of, and attitudes to, mammography screening.


The answers showed that apathy, lack of concern and lack of perceived need were reasons quoted for nonattendance by almost half of respondents. Other important barriers to mammography screening were: (1) fear of a positive screen result (admitted by 39%); (2) lack of encouragement by some general practitioners (quoted by 19%); and (3) lack of knowledge about screening mammography (one third did not know that mammography was a screening and not just a diagnostic procedure). The current cost is a major deterrent for many unscreened women with only 28% saying they would be willing to pay more than $55.00, but only 10% unwilling to pay at all and only 5% quoting cost as their reason for nonattendance.


Strategies to improve attendance are suggested.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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