Breast Abnormalities: Identification of Indicators that Facilitate Use of Health Services for Diagnosis and Treatment of Breast Cancer
AuthorDeBoard, Ruth Ann
AdvisorVincent, Deborah A
Committee ChairVincent, Deborah A
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractProblem: There is a lack of knowledge about women who are screened for breast cancer, have an abnormal finding on mammogram, and then do not return in a timely manner for diagnostics and treatment. Lack of follow- up likely constitutes delayed treatment and poorer outcomes. Delays may result in later entry into the health system with advanced disease, more extensive and expensive care, burdening resources. Late stage breast cancer likely results in poorer health outcomes or early death.Purpose and Aims: The purpose of this research is to describe contextual characteristics at the health delivery level as well as individual characteristics of women with abnormal mammography, and their association with use of follow- up health services. Particularly, this research examines the differences between women who are early and late responders after an abnormal mammogram.Population: The participants were a convenience sample of 380 women who participated in mobile breast cancer screening. A subset of women with inconclusive or abnormal mammogram findings was the focus of analysis.Methods: This research utilized a descriptive design with quantitative data collection through participant survey at mobile mammogram screening events in multiple urban and rural Arizona sites. Participants requiring further health care were followed by chart review. Analysis of correlations with the outcome variable: time to first follow- up appointment for recommended health care in women with abnormal mammograms was conducted.Findings: Data indicated the time to the first follow- up appointment ranged from 1- 110 days with follow- up for 77.4% of participants within 60 days, 6.5% within 60-90 days, and 16.1% without follow- up after 90 days. Significant relationships between contextual and individual characteristics and follow- up were found. Categories included organizational health system characteristics of geographic location, clinical breast exam and shared case management; individual characteristics of beliefs including value of health care; finance including out of pocket costs and perceptions of financial assistance; perceived needs including breast symptoms; and satisfaction with the last health visit and mammograms in general.Implications: Recognition of barriers to follow- up after breast cancer screening is important for development of interventions to improve outcomes and has implications for screening and treatment management programs, community health centers and private practice. Health disparity related to screening without adequate options for access to health care is ethically untenable. Nurses are well positioned to reduce barriers to health care.