Black, Low-Income Women May Not Report Barriers to Care

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Women who reported these barriers were more likely to obtain a subsequent screening mammogram.
Women who reported these barriers were more likely to obtain a subsequent screening mammogram.

HealthDay News — Black women, women living in poverty, and those with higher levels of distrust are less likely to report barriers to timely screening mammography, according to a study published online Sept. 24 in Cancer.

Sage J. Kim, PhD, from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and colleagues used data from the Patient Navigation in Medically Underserved Areas randomized controlled trial to assess the likelihood of obtaining a follow-up screening mammogram in women who identified barriers to timely screening mammography and those who did not.

The researchers found that of the 3754 women randomly assigned to the navigation intervention in the Patient Navigation in Medically Underserved Areas trial, approximately 14% identified at least 1 barrier, which led to additional navigator contacts. Women who reported these barriers were more likely to obtain a subsequent screening mammogram. Barriers were less likely to be reported by black women, women living in poverty, and women with a higher level of distrust.

"Gendered and racialized social expectations may affect the ways in which women seek help for their own health needs," the authors write. "A way to improve the effectiveness of navigation would be to recognize how minority women's gender images and expectations could shape how they seek help and support. A report of no barriers does not always translate into no problems."

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