Using the Health Belief Model to Identify Perceived Barriers to Mammography Re-Screening among African-American Women

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Nevada Journal of Public Health



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Although extensive research has been done surrounding breast cancer causes and treatment options, we have yet to discover specific preventive mechanisms for the disease. With breast cancer survival rates being lowest among African-American women, perhaps due to a lack of access to care, an apparent need exists for educational methods that address significant barriers related to breast cancer screening. The purpose of this study is to assess attitudes and beliefs related to barriers to mammography re-screening among African American women over the age of 40 who participated in Care for the Girls, a breast health education program presented by Education for Quality Living and Community Partners for Better Health in Las Vegas, Nevada. Participants of this program completed a 20 minute telephone survey based on principles of the Health Belief Model. Twenty-one (n= 21) participants in this study reported on their receipt of mammograms and clinical breast exams within the two years of Care for the Girls’ dissolution; intentions of re-screening for breast cancer; and barriers related to rescreening. Responses were consistent, confirmed understanding of information provided in the program, and identified barriers related to fears, pain, and embarrassment associated with mammography utilization that need to be addressed in future programming efforts.

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