News | Mammography | October 18, 2017

Study Examines Characteristics of Mobile Mammography Patients

Patrons of the mobile unit were less more diverse, less likely to be insured and less likely to adhere to follow-up recommendations than cancer center visitors

Study Examines Characteristics of Mobile Mammography Patients

October 18, 2017 — Significant differences were found among women receiving mammography at a cancer center versus those visiting a mobile mammography van, according to an article published online ahead of print in the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR). The print version is scheduled to be published in the December 2017 issue of AJR.

Mobile mammography units have increasingly been used to address women's healthcare disparities, the article stated, but to date there are limited data comparing mobile units to stationary sites. The authors found that the cancer centers' population is older and more adherent to guidelines, while the mobile mammography population exhibited greater racial and marital diversity, higher recall rate and lack of adherence to follow-up recommendations.

"By identifying these characteristics, we can develop programs and materials that meet these populations' needs and behaviors, ultimately increasing mammography screening and follow-up rates among underserved populations," said the researchers, led by Elizabeth Stanley of the Department of Radiology at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Titled "Effectiveness of a Mobile Mammography Program," the article notes that the significantly lower adherence to recall recommendations in patients using the mammography unit may be because of difficulties in access to the breast imaging center because patients must go to the cancer center for follow-up. Patients using the mobile unit were more likely to be uninsured and also showed a greater racial and marital diversity, thereby meeting the unit's mission of providing resources to adults living in target areas who have difficulty accessing healthcare, the authors stated.

The results could be used to develop specific educational programs and targeted interventions to increase mammography screening rates among underserved populations, the authors said. For example, a text-messaging reminder system could be adopted to increase mammography adherence among the mobile unit patient population.

For more information: www.ajronline.org

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