Beliefs regarding mammography screening among women visiting the emergency department for nonurgent care

Jennifer Hatcher-Keller, Mary Kay Rayens, Mark Dignan, Nancy Schoenberg, Penne Allison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Introduction: One in 8 US women will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. Despite evidence that mammography is an effective method of early detection, certain vulnerable groups, such as those using the emergency department as a medical home, do not adhere to mammography screening guidelines, and suffer disparate mortality from breast cancer. The purpose of this study was to investigate differences in beliefs regarding mammography screening among women attending the emergency department for nonurgent care and ultimately to develop interventions that promote mammography for this vulnerable population. Methods: We explored the relationship between stage of readiness to adopt mammography behavior and barriers, benefits, and perceived susceptibility by administering scales for risk, benefits, and barriers to a sample of 110 women who had presented to the emergency department of a public hospital for nonurgent complaints or were seated in the ED waiting room. We also collected sociodemographic information and stage of readiness. Results: Mammography adherence was about 60%. Most women who were not compliant with current guidelines were contemplators. Those who were not contemplating being screened were significantly less likely to perceive themselves to be at risk of getting breast cancer. Women who had more barriers to mammography perceived less benefit from having a mammogram. African American women perceived less benefit from having a mammogram. Discussion: Mammography promotion is appropriately placed in the ED waiting room given the suboptimal rate at which this population is being screened. Beliefs regarding mammography differ for women in various stages of mammography adoption and for minority women. Understanding these differences will allow intervention in this setting to be tailored to the population. ED nurses are an important and sometimes sole point of health care contact for patients who routinely visit the emergency department. As such, they have a valuable opportunity to provide cancer screening promotion messages. It is critical that nurses in this setting understand the complexities of delivering this information and the need to do so.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e27-e35
JournalJournal of Emergency Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Cancer control
  • Mammography
  • Nonurgent care
  • Stages of change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency


Dive into the research topics of 'Beliefs regarding mammography screening among women visiting the emergency department for nonurgent care'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this