Orji CC, Kanu C, Adelodun AI, Brown CM. Factors that influence mammography use for breast cancer screening among African American women. J Natl Med Assoc. 2020 Jul 5. doi: 10.1016/j.jnma.2020.05.004.


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to assess factors that influence use of mammography screening among African American women, with a focus on social and cultural influences using Andersen's behavioral model (ABM), and to assess the methodological quality of the included studies.

Methods: A literature review was conducted using PubMed, CINAHL, PSYCINFO, and Web of Science. Search terms included a combination of the following words using Boolean operators: breast cancer screening, mammography, repeat mammography, and African American. Studies that met the following criteria were included in the review: 1) examined factors associated with mammography screening, 2) included African American women as a majority, 3) published in a peer-reviewed English language journal between 2005 and 2017, and 4) conducted in the United States. Literature reviews, commentaries and non-research studies were excluded. Cited references from identified studies were examined for additional, relevant articles. Associated factors were grouped into predisposing, enabling, and need factor domains of ABM. The reviewed studies were rated using a methodological quality score (MQS) ranging from 0 to 20, with higher scores indicating higher methodological quality.

Results: Twenty-four studies met the inclusion criteria. Fifteen factors that affect breast cancer screening in African American women were identified: predisposing (age, education, knowledge, beliefs, mistrust, religiosity, fears and fatalism), enabling (health insurance, access to care, income, health utilization), and need (physician recommendation, family/personal history, pain/discomfort, family responsibilities) factors. The most common factor was insurance status, although cultural issues (e.g., mistrust) were evident. Most of the identified factors are modifiable. The mean MQS was 12.2, indicating that the studies were slightly above average in quality.

Conclusions: Financial and cultural issues were important hindrances to breast cancer screening in African American women. These findings highlight the importance of affordable health care for preventive health services as well as the relevance of culturally embedded issues to health, while the MQS accentuates the need for more rigorous research articles. Breast cancer screening interventions in this population should attend to barriers identified in this review.

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