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Cancer Causes Control. 1997 Sep;8(5):771-9.

Factors determining acceptability of mammography in an Asian population: a study among women in Singapore.

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  • 1National University of Singapore.


Population-based mammographic screening has been shown to be effective in reducing breast cancer mortality in the West. In Singapore, a project carried out to determine the effectiveness of implementing such a program locally invited 28,000 women between the ages of 50 and 64 years for mammography. The current study, which was part of this larger project, was intended to determine factors contributing to the acceptance of mammographic screening among women in Singapore. A questionnaire was administered in-person to 300 attenders and 260 non-attenders. The respondents were compared with respect to basic demographic characteristics, previous preventive behavior, informal social support, and attitudes towards early detection. We found that screening attenders were more likely to be Chinese than Malays (14 percent of the population) or Indians (seven percent), and to be working outside the home (adjusted odds ratio [OR]) = 4.5, 95 percent confidence interval [CI] = 2.6-7.9). A greater proportion of attenders had a history of other screening tests such as the Pap smear (OR = 4.7, CI = 2.6-8.7 for recent smear compared with never having had a smear). They were also more likely to indicate a sense of personal susceptibility to cancer, but did not differ from non-attenders in terms of believing in cancer prevention, or of preferring to be told if they did have cancer. The strongest independent predictor of attendance, however, was encouragement by her spouse or family member. For women in this population to be persuaded effectively to participate in mammographic screening, it would be important to convince family members of the benefits of the test. At the same time, education targeted specifically at women of the appropriate age group should address the issue of the personal relevance of screening for breast cancer.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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