Breast cancer screening in rural populations: A pilot study

Barbara T. Sparks, Nawal E. Ragheb, Barbara A. Given, G. Marie Swanson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    14 Scopus citations


    This report describes the development and implementation of a pilot intervention project designed to determine the economic, logistic, behavioral, and attitudinal variables that influence rural women's participation in a community-based breast cancer screening program. The intervention targeted rural female residents age 40 and older in four Michigan counties. This paper reports on survey responses of women who registered for this pilot breast cancer screening program. It includes information on all women who registered for the project-both those who received breast cancer screening and those who did not. The study is a pilot intervention project, the overall goal of which was to develop a network of community providers, organizations, and volunteers to facilitate breast cancer screening among rural women. Of the 159 women registered for this pilot program, 101 (63.5%) were screened (receiving both a clinical breast examination and mammogram). The attitudes of women surveyed through the project confirm the importance of a physician recommendation for breast cancer screening. More than 90 percent of both the screened and unscreened groups of women stated that a doctor's recommendation to have breast cancer screening is important. Further, nearly 42 percent of the unscreened group had never had a physician recommend breast cancer screening. Despite existing barriers to screening, this pilot study demonstrated that health care professionals and regional organizations that have not traditionally been associated with delivering health care in this particular community setting, can successfully work together to implement breast cancer screening programs.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)120-129
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Rural Health
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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    Sparks, B. T., Ragheb, N. E., Given, B. A., & Swanson, G. M. (1996). Breast cancer screening in rural populations: A pilot study. Journal of Rural Health, 12(2), 120-129.