Preferences for Communicating about Breast Cancer Screening Among Racially/Ethnically Diverse Older Women


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

Differences exist across breast cancer screening guidelines regarding frequency of screening and age of discontinuation for older women (≥70 years) at average risk for breast cancer. These differences highlight concerns about the benefits and harms of screening, and may negatively impact older women’s ability to make informed screening decisions. This study examined preferences for communicating about screening mammography among racially/ethnically diverse, older women. In-depth interviews were conducted with 59 women with no breast cancer history. Non-proportional quota sampling ensured roughly equal numbers on age (70–74 years, ≥75 years), race/ethnicity (non-Hispanic/Latina White, non-Hispanic/Latina Black, Hispanic/Latina), and education (≤high school diploma, >high school diploma). Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using NVivo 10. Thematic analyses revealed that rather than being told to get mammograms, participants wanted to hear about the benefits and harms of screening mammography, including overdiagnosis. Participants recommended that this information be communicated via physicians or other healthcare providers, included in brochures/pamphlets, and presented outside of clinical settings (e.g., in senior groups). Results were consistent regardless of participants’ age, race/ethnicity, or education. Findings revealed that older women desire information about the benefits and harms of screening mammography, and would prefer to learn this information through discussions with healthcare providers and multiple other formats.

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