Women’s responses to changes in U.S. preventive task force’s mammography screening guidelines: results of focus groups with ethnically diverse women
Published Date:Dec 12 2013
Source:BMC Public Health. 2013; 13:1169.
Pubmed Central ID:PMC3913377
Funding:R25 CA057712/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States
R25T 2R25CA57712/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States
U48DP001946/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
The 2009 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) changed mammography guidelines to recommend routine biennial screening starting at age 50. This study describes women’s awareness of, attitudes toward, and intention to comply with these new guidelines.
Women ages 40–50 years old were recruited from the Boston area to participate in focus groups (k = 8; n = 77). Groups were segmented by race/ethnicity (Caucasian = 39%; African American = 35%; Latina = 26%), audio-taped, and transcribed. Thematic content analysis was used.
Participants were largely unaware of the revised guidelines and suspicious that it was a cost-savings measure by insurers and/or providers. Most did not intend to comply with the change, viewing screening as obligatory. Few felt prepared to participate in shared decision-making or advocate for their preferences with respect to screening.
Communication about the rationale for mammography guideline changes has left many women unconvinced about potential disadvantages or limitations of screening. Since further guideline changes are likely to occur with advances in technology and science, it is important to help women become informed consumers of health information and active participants in shared decision-making with providers. Additional research is needed to determine the impact of the USPSTF change on women’s screening behaviors and on breast cancer outcomes.
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